Shropshire Star

Former Shrewsbury Town mascot James hoping for better result against Liverpool this time

It has been more than two decades since James Archer won a competition to run out onto the pitch as mascot ahead of Shrewsbury Town's FA Cup clash with Liverpool.

James Archer was the mascot when Liverpool played Shrewsbury in 1996

Now aged 33, James will be returning to Montgomery Waters Meadow on Sunday and is hoping for a more favourable result when the teams meet for only the second time in their history.

The League One side secured a meeting with Jurgen Klopp's Reds by beating Bristol City 1-0 in a third-round replay.

James won a competition to be Town's mascot

The fixture will be the first time the clubs have met since 1996, when Roy Evans' Liverpool recorded a 4-0 victory at Gay Meadow in the same stage of the competition.

James, from Shrewsbury, fulfilled a boyhood dream when he was invited to be Town's mascot for that day at the age of nine.


And despite the result, it was one of the most memorable days of his life.

"My parents entered me into a competition to be the match day mascot and I won," he said.

"It was amazing as I was a big fan even back then, my dad used to take me to all the games.


"The match was not long after Bob Paisley died so I remember standing in the centre circle and the fans were all singing You'll Never Walk Alone. It was so moving.

"I met Robbie Fowler which is something I will always remember too. I also met Steve McManaman and Stan Collymore.

"The whole team were so good with me. They were great because they took the time to talk to me which I can't imagine happens as much these days because they're all multi-millionaires."

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But snowy conditions meant preparations for the big day went on and on, much to James's disappointment.

"I was just so relieved and happy to finally get there because the match had been postponed because of bad weather," he said.

"I kept waking up excited, only for my dad to have to tell me we wouldn't be going ahead today which was so disappointing - in fact it was traumatising for a nine-year-old boy.

"Sadly we lost 4-0 on the day and were absolutely rubbish. I'm hoping for a better result this time but you never know with this Liverpool team - it could be 12-0 but I hope not. It would be good if they could get a draw so there is a replay. It would be amazing for the team and the fans to then go and play in Anfield. It would be an amazing experience.

"It was a big year for me as a fan actually, as later that year we went to Wembley to watch them and stayed in the same hotel as all of the players. I have followed them ever since and I still go with my dad.

"I'm really looking forward to the match. Having the cameras there always makes it that bit more magical."