West Ham United were aided by a lucky mascot at Saturday's 1-0 Barclays Premier League victory at Stoke City.

Season Ticket Holder Ryan Cox, 13, travelled to the Britannia Stadium with his father Paul expecting to watch the match from the away supporters' section in the Marston's Pedigree Stand.

However, with the Hammers without an official mascot to lead out the team alongside captain Winston Reid, Joint-Chairman David Gold took it upon himself to pick a youngster from the crowd to do the job.

Ryan, from Bethnal Green, was the fortunate fan chosen by Mr Gold. The youngster was already wearing a claret and blue home shirt, but he was quickly provided with a pair of diminutive winger Matt Jarvis's shorts and socks by kit manager Pete Williams.

Suitably decked out, Ryan joined Stoke's own mascots for a kick-about and photo-call before returning to the tunnel, from where he joined Reid and his West Ham team-mates before leading the side out onto the pitch.

"I was very excited when the Joint-Chairman picked me out of the crowd to be mascot," he said. "I couldn't believe it, to be honest, and I was a bit nervous when it came to leading the team out. We won the game, too, so it is a day I will never forget!"

Mascot

Mr Gold was delighted to be able to give one young supporter a once-in-a-lifetime experience to meet his heroes.

"Sadly, we didn't have a mascot to come down to Stoke, but the Stoke officials were brilliant and said 'If you want to bring one of the kids from among the supporters, he or she could be our mascot for the day," the Joint-Chairman confirmed.

"Ryan looked great but unfortunately he was in long trousers as it was a pretty cold day! We sent him off to our dressing room and we were able to provide him with some shorts and socks.

"It was a wonderful gesture from Stoke and he was over the moon to take on such an important role. He had a fantastic day and he was a good omen for us!"

West Bromwich Albion