A young South Shields FC star has told of his day at Wembley – playing alongside one of his childhood heroes.
Defender Dillon Morse, 22, was pictured as a star-struck youngster with then-Sunderland AFC favourite Julio Arca in 2005.
On Sunday, they were both part of the South Shields team which defeated Cleethorpes Town 4-0 to win the FA Vase.
Twelve years on from their first meeting, the pair recreated the photograph with the trophy in their hands and more than 13,000 delighted supporters behind them.
Dillon, from Sunderland, scored Shields’ second goal in their victory on Sunday.
He said: “When I got the photo taken with him all those years ago, I wouldn’t have thought in a million years that one day we’d play alongside each other.
It was a dream come true and still hasn’t sunk inDillon Morse
“It’s crazy to think that 12 years on, not only are we playing in the same team but we’ve also won a trophy together at Wembley.
“It was a dream come true and it still hasn’t sunk in.”
Dillon was a boyhood Sunderland fan, and regularly watched Arca during his heyday at the Stadium of Light. The club became aware of the story earlier this week, and sent a message to Dillon on Twitter.
The tweet said: “Amazing...well played Dillon Morse.”
There was also a message from Julio himself, who tweeted: “Incredible.”
Mariners chairman Geoff Thompson was among the others to respond after his club tweeted the two pictures side by side along with the text: “Sometimes dreams do come true.”
Geoff tweeted: “Wow two great photos.”
The sponsors of the FA Vase, Buildbase, also tweeted: “Brilliant inspiration for others.”
Sunday’s victory completed a clean sweep of trophies for the Mariners this season, with the FA Vase secured to go alongside the Northern League Division One title, the Northern League Cup and the Durham Challenge Cup.
A parade to celebrate the club’s achievements had been due to take place today, but was postponed following the Manchester bombing this week.
A joint statement from the club and South Tyneside Council said: “In light of the tragic events in Manchester and devastating consequences on those affected, we believe that this is not the right time to stage a celebratory event. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and friends of the victims of this atrocity.”