Two East Lancashire boys, who have raised hundreds of thousands for charity, were invited to an England game earlier this week where they met many of their football heroes.

Hughie Higginson, from Burnley, and Freddie Xavi, from Whalley, travelled to Wembley Stadium on Tuesday night (29 March) to watch England play the Ivory Coast.

The 12-year-old football fans watched the 3-0 win from a VIP box after being invited to the game by captain, Harry Kane.

Lancashire Telegraph: Hughie and Freddie at Wembley StadiumHughie and Freddie at Wembley Stadium

After their Pride of Britain award win in November 2021, which they won for raising over £220,000 for charity, Harry sent the boys shirts, a video message and promised to get them tickets to watch the England squad in action.

Speaking before the game started, Freddie said: “Harry Kane was supposed to be sat right next to us at the Pride of Britain awards but he wasn’t there – so he invited us into his box.

Hughie said: “We are so excited and hopefully it’s going to be a great game against the Ivory Coast.”

The boys watched the match with the family of Burnley FC goalkeeper Nick Pope, who was between the sticks for England in the game.

Lancashire Telegraph: Hughie and Freddie with Burnley FC goalie, Nick PopeHughie and Freddie with Burnley FC goalie, Nick Pope

After England's 3-0 victory, Nick introduced Hughie and Freddie to the England squad; here they met Ollie Watkins, Harry Maguire, Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish.

Freddie’s mum, Sarah Ronnan, said: “They had an amazing time! They met so many of their England heroes, Nick Pope went straight over to them and introduced them to the squad.

“Jack Grealish spoke with them and said he recognised them from watching the Pride of Britain awards on TV.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Freddie (left) and Hughie (right) with Harry MaguireFreddie (left) and Hughie (right) with Harry Maguire

Sarah said Harry took the time to speak to the boys about their story and new 100km fundraising challenge, which will see them tour the UK to run 1km around 92 Premier League and English Football League clubs, raising money for oncology wards around the country.

Sarah said: “Hughie and Freddie are looking forward to seeing Harry again when we do our run at Old Trafford, home of Manchester United.”

Hughie was diagnosed with ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukaemia) in 2020 and began urgent treatment at the children’s hospital.

Freddie ran 2km every day in the 50 days leading up to Christmas Day 2020, raising over £220,000 for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity.

To donate to their current 100km football running challenge, visit or text FRIENDSHIP to 70450 to donate £5. Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message.