Budding sports presenter Joseph Hadfield is to kick off his career at the very top of the tree – broadcasting live from Wembley on FA Cup final day, writes Mike Russell.
The 14-year-old pupil at Yewlands Technology College in Sheffield has been named winner of the first BT Sport Young FA Cup Presenter of the Year competition.
The network’s main sports anchor Jake Humphrey travelled to the Parson Cross school to break the news in person – which came as a complete surprise to Joseph.
The teenager will now appear alongside Jake during the channel’s coverage of the big match on Saturday, May 17.
And, as a keen Blades fan, he’s hoping he may just be talking about Sheffield United’s chances of lifting the trophy.
Joseph said: “It’s fantastic, I’m completely overwhelmed. I was dragged out of class and when I saw Jake was here I was completely lost for words. It was a complete surprise.
“I decided I wanted to be a football presenter when I was only four or five, and I used to commentate to myself when all my classmates were playing at primary school!
“When I read about the competition I thought I’d just go for it.
“To go to the FA Cup final will be a dream – I watch it every year and Jake is one of my idols.
“I’m hoping United will be there – I believe in Nigel Clough and I think he can take the team all the way.”
Jake said he and Joseph would both be presenting their first FA Cup finals together.
“It’s going to be a really big deal for me and I’m 35, so for Joseph to help me host the coverage at 14 is just remarkable,” he said.
“Joseph made a good impression during the competition rehearsals, but he really came alive when he knew he had his one chance to be successful. He really rose to the occasion.
“I’m not sure if it will be good or bad for him if United get to the final – it may well make him twice as nervous!” Jake added.