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Burnley football freestyler to showcase talent in America
3:00pm Thursday 22nd March 2012 in Burnley
A FOOTBALL freestyler from Burnley is set to cross the Atlantic to give America a taste of his tricks.
Chris Draper, 19, will perform at half-time during two Fort Lauderdale Strikers games in May and June.
The Miami side play at the 20,450 capacity Lockhart Stadium and public relations student Chris is keen to thrill the crowds.
The former Burnley College pupil, now in his second year at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, has been honing his skills for the past year, but performed in front of his first audience in January.
He said: “I’ve done my routine at Preston North End, Dunfermline Athletic, Huddersfield Town and at Burnley College and UCLan.
“I think the main thing about going to America will be performing in the heat. I’m so used to the cold and rain!”
Chris’ next gig is at Saint Johnstone’s home game against Heart of Midlothian on March 24.
Then he will be jetting to the United States for a family holiday with a difference. Fort Lauderdale take on Atlanta Silverbacks in the North America Soccer League on May 26.
But it’s the ‘Florida derby’ against state rivals Tampa Bay Rowdies on June 2 that will be the toughest test of Chris’ skills.
He discovered his talent by accident, after meeting Scottish freestyler Graeme Lightbody while doing PR work for Dunfermline Athletic: “I could do a lot of the same tricks as him. Then I went to Manchester and met World Champion John Farnworth and I started learning more and more."
An avid Burnley FC fan, Chris says performing at Turf Moor would be the highlight of his career.