North Lincolnshire girl, 6, picked as mascot for England v Denmark after grandpa wins prize

Holme Valley Primary School pupil Willow with her granddad Rowland Price holding the England flag
-Credit: (Image: Supplied)


A six-year-old North Lincolnshire girl is thrilled to be flying out to Frankfurt to be a player escort for England when the team faces Denmark on Thursday.

Willow, from Scunthorpe, got the amazing opportunity thanks to her granddad Rowland Price who entered a Lidl competition on a whim while doing his usual shop at the supermarket. The Lidl Kids Team programme will see children from across Europe take on the celebrated role of player escort at all UEFA Euro 2024 matches in Germany.

Rowland, also known as Rollie, was "over the moon" when he heard he'd won. His daughter Sophie Kenny, Willow's mum, recalls getting several missed calls from him in the space of a few minutes and wondering what on earth was happening.

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Sophie, 32, who works at Premier Inn, told Scunthorpe Live: "He never thought in his wildest dreams he was going to win it. I remember I'd just come off the night shift and my dad kept ringing at 8 o'clock in the morning and I was like, 'What does he want?'

"He said 'You're never going to believe it! You're never going to believe it, I entered a competition and I've won it!' So I was like, 'Calm down, what competition?'"

Six-year-old Willow from Scunthorpe holding up the England flag
Six-year-old Willow from Scunthorpe says her favourite player is Kieran Trippier -Credit:Supplied

Sophie said they realised only Willow was eligible because the player escorts have to be aged between six and 10. It meant her brothers - Mason, Alfie, and Kian - were "very jealous", said Sophie.

Recalling Willow's reaction when they told her the news, Sophie said: "She was super excited as soon as she learned that Kieran Trippier was part of the England squad as she's a massive Newcastle fan.

"Willow went to school and told all her friends and all the teachers were saying to me 'We never knew Willow was going to be walking out with the England squad' so I was like, 'Has she told everybody?!' But she is super excited, bless her."

Sophie said people have been approaching her dad trying to buy the prize but he's refused and said it's a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" and it "can't get better than this".

Tonight, Willow will be going out for a meal with the other kids who got the special opportunity. On match day, Willow will be at the stadium in Frankfurt to meet the squad and play some games with the other children.

Before the game begins at 5pm UK time, she will be assigned a player and go out onto the pitch as the national anthems are played. Sophie said she's told Willow if she is nervous to remember she will be watching on TV back in Scunthorpe "waving and cheering".

"She's never really left me before," Sophie said. "I said if you get upset or anything just remember we're all going to be watching you and I'm sure you'll be fine."