BALLYMENA boy James Martin was the ‘special son’ as he got up close and personal with Jose Mourinho and the Chelsea stars.
The 9-year-old St Colmcille’s primary pupil was invited to lead out his Chelsea heroes in front of a sell-out 42,000 crowd before their crunch game with Burnley.
James - who is also a top ice hockey player with the Junior Belfast Giants - even made an appearance on Match Of The Day as he stood in the tunnel with captain John Terry.
But it was his close encounter with legend Jose that proved the highlight of the day.
James said: “It was an amazing day. My dad organised for me to go into the dressing room and meet all the team and then lead them out at the start of the game.
“I went around and met all the players one by one. They were all so friendly and John Terry was especially nice.
“We were told that Jose never comes in to the dressing room to meet the mascots - but I didn’t mind because it was such an amazing day anyway.
“Then just as we were about to leave the dressing room my dad ran off and came in with Jose. I couldn’t believe it. The Chelsea people told us it was the first time all season a mascot had managed to get a picture with Jose - so it really was my lucky day.”
James then led Chelsea out of the tunnel as they prepared for a hot-tempered clash with Burnley that ended 1-1.
James added: “It was definitely the best of my life. One I’ll never forget.”