Newmarket footballer's name to appear on Manchester United v Chelsea FA Cup final ball
PUBLISHED: 12:15 17 May 2018 | UPDATED: 12:16 17 May 2018
A Newmarket footballer will have a special reason to watch this year’s FA Cup final as his name has been printed on the ball for the famous match.
Shaun Avis will be in the company of some top Premier League stars such as Alexis Sanchez and Willian after the FA printed the names of 137 goalscorers from this season’s competition on the ball to be used in the 137th final.
The ‘Ball For All’ celebrates goalscorers from the non-league through to the top level, and the special Nike Ordem V ball will be used for Saturday’s final between Manchester United and Chelsea.
Shaun, who now plays for Newmarket Town, scored the goal for Mildenhall Town in a preliminary round of the competition against Framlingham Town back in August.
Shaun’s ninth minute goal, which saw him chosen to feature on the ball, settled the tie for the Bostik North Division outfit in a 1-0 win.
The Hall were knocked out in the next round by AFC Sudbury following a replay.
Shaun, who works in accounting in Cambridge, said: “It was all a bit of a shock really.
“I got a call from Damon Barton at Mildenhall and I wondered why he was ringing. I wasn’t sure what it was about.
“I spoke to him and he explained that my name was going to be on the ball and I was delighted. It’s a really good feeling.
“It’s an honour to be alongside some of the names on there.”
Shaun said the FA Cup has not lost any of its sparkle in the non-league.
“It’s such a great competition, it’s my favourite,” he said.
“The atmosphere when you play in those games is always brilliant and you always get good crowds because it’s the FA Cup.”
The Newmarket player, who is an Arsenal fan, will not attend the final but will be watching on television.
“I’m a big Arsenal fan and I’ve been lucky enough to get tickets for the final before,” he said.
“I’m not sure who I want to win this one really, but I think Manchester United will do it.”
The 26-year-old striker is hoping that he will be able to get his hands on a version of the ball for keepsake.
“I’ve spoken to Damon at Mildenhall about trying to get hold of a replica of the ball so I could frame it and he said he’d ask the question,” he said.
I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get one but it’s worth a try.”