Pinch us we must be Tangerine dreaming

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HOW about this for a tangerine dream?

Lytham High pupils Ben Holmes and Harry Smith couldn’t believe their eyes when their Friday morning lessons were interrupted by none other than Blackpool FC’s Stephen Crainey.

And the surprises didn’t stop there.

The boys, who have battled disability since birth, were whisked away to meet their heroes at Squires Gate training ground, then given an exclusive tour of Bloomfield Road.

The icing on the cake was an exclusive invitation to be the mascots for Blackpool FC as the team take on West Brom away today.

The surprise has been three months in the planning, but the boys’ beaming smiles made the wait worthwhile.

Ben, 13, from St Annes, suffers dwarfism and has returned to school just this week after a gruelling operation. He said: “I can’t believe this is real and I’m not dreaming!

“I am a huge Blackpool FC fan and this is a massive dream come true.

“I was shocked when Stephen Crainey walked into my lesson, but I am so excited about being a mascot. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

The boys chatted to the players and got autographs as well as posing for several photographs.

Harry, also 13 was thrilled when the club presented both boys with a souvenir football, which they were able to get the players to sign.

Harry suffers from Hemiplegia – a condition which has caused paralysis to one side of his body. It also affects his hearing, meaning he has to wear hearing aids.

Both boys have tackled their conditions with bravery and gone on to lead active lives.

Their parents and staff at the school decided they deserved a treat and contacted Bloomfield Road for help.

Harry said: “I can’t wait to be a mascot, this has been one of the most exciting days ever.

“It was brilliant being taken out of lessons and getting to meet all the players.

“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing this morning.”

Blackpool FC worked with staff at the school and staff at West Bromwich to arrange the special treat.

And the players couldn’t have been more happy to help.

Stephen Crainey said: “It was really nice to see Ben and Harry’s faces when I walked in.

“It is always a pleasure to meet young fans, but especially two as brave as these.

“I’m looking forward to introducing them to the other players and can’t wait to see them appear as our mascots.”

Lytham High headteacher Phil Wood accompanied the boys, and also got to rub shoulders with players and meet manager Ian Holloway and goalkeeper Matt Gilks.

Mr Wood (pictured, left, with Matt) said: “We are so grateful to Blackpool FC, and West Bromwich for their efforts. This is a dream come true for these boys and a day they will no doubt always remember.”