Antonio takes on pupils at FIFA 18 Foundation event

Michail Antonio delighted pupils in Hornchurch as he visited Emerson Park Academy School as part of the West Ham United Foundation’s Community Hub School Programme.

The Hammers winger took part in a question and answer session with the Year 7 and 8 students before taking them on at FIFA as part of PlayStation’s Schools Cup.

The schoolchildren, many of whom are West Ham supporters, were then able to grab a selfie with the popular midfielder before having their Hammers merchandise signed.

Jerry Reynolds, 13, faced Antonio on FIFA and marked a day never to forget with a 1-0 victory.

The youngster said: “It was amazing to have Michail here. I am a West Ham fan so it was even better for me!

“I can’t believe I beat him on FIFA as well! I know he plays FIFA, so that will definitely be something I remember for the rest of my life!”

The Foundation’s Community Hub School programme provides partnerships with primary schools via the Premier League Primary Stars Program which sees the Foundation deliver numerous programs ranging from Teacher Mentoring through PE delivery to supporting Numeracy and Literacy through unique Take-Over Days. 

Luke Stone, who works at Emerson Park as the Hammers’ Foundation’s representative five days a week, was delighted with how the event went down with the children.

He said: “My role within Emerson Park includes working alongside the SEND department for two days a week mentoring and tracking identified children who may have learning, social or behavioral needs as well as helping out the teaching staff.

“Having someone like Michail here will inspire the children with what they can achieve, if you look at Antonio’s background, where he went to school then college and actually got his education done before he went into football so that children can see actually school is important.

“This school and the West Ham foundation are doing a lot to promote education and keep these children on course so that they can have the best future.”