Leeds & West Yorkshire

England's World Cup mascot Alysia Singh was 'lucky charm'

Alysia, from Huddersfield, with officials and players before the FIFA World Cup Group G match between England and Panama at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Russia, on 24 June Image copyright Tim Goode/PA
Image caption Alysia was one of 64 children worldwide to be given the role of World Cup 2018 Ball Carrier

A "football mad" eight-year-old who led the England team on to the pitch at the World Cup says she "must be the lucky charm of the match!".

Alysia Singh, from Huddersfield, said she was "really excited" to carry the match ball into Nizhny Novgorod Stadium before Sunday's 6-1 win over Panama.

She stood between match officials during the national anthems, and shook the hands of her England heroes.

Alysia was the only UK winner after her dad entered her in the competition.

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Image caption Ravi Singh said it was "a real proud dad moment" and brought a tear to his eye

Alysia, a Huddersfield Terriers fan, won the opportunity after her father Ravi entered her into a competition organised by tournament sponsors Kia.

She said she was "really excited" to walk down the line and shake the players' hands.

In total 64 children from across the world will take on the role of ball carrier in World Cup games in Russia.

Image copyright Tim Goode/PA
Image caption Alyisa Singh was the only UK winner of the competition to carry the match balls on to the pitch
Image copyright Tim Goode/PA
Image caption She shook hands with the England players ahead of the match, which England won 6-1

Mr Singh, 48, said watching his daughter walk on to the pitch in front of the 45,000-seater arena "brought a tear to his eyes".

"The walk stopped my heart for a few beats," he said.

"It's the proudest moment of my life. It brought a tear to my eyes."

'England's lucky charm'

He said his daughter was "quite calm" before the game, and "really looking forward to just seeing the team".

Alysia said: "Everybody keeps saying we must be the lucky charm of the match!"

Alysia plays football three times a week, including in the Tomorrow's Terriers scheme run by Huddersfield Town Foundation.

She said when she is older she wants play for the England girls' team and Huddersfield Town Girls.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Alysia's father, Ravi Singh, said it was "one of the most exciting things of my life" and said it was "a real proud dad moment!"

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