EXCLUSIVE: Humble Jack Wilshere backs Mark Burke’s battling Hitchin Town as FA Cup date looms – with BBC set to broadcast first round draw from Top Field if Canaries progress

PUBLISHED: 09:22 19 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:33 19 October 2018

England's Jack Wilshere speaks to Layth Yousif at his home. Picture: DANNY LOO

England's Jack Wilshere speaks to Layth Yousif at his home. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Archant

EXCLUSIVE: Premier League star and humble hometown Hitchin lad Jack Wilshere is backing Mark Burke’s Canaries to soar in their bid to reach the FA Cup first round – as news emerges that the BBC and BT Sport are planning to broadcast Monday’s draw from Top Field if the Canaries win on Saturday.

England's Jack Wilshere speaks to Layth Yousif at his home. Picture: DANNY LOOEngland's Jack Wilshere speaks to Layth Yousif at his home. Picture: DANNY LOO

The 26-year-old former Priory School pupil keeps tabs on Hitchin Town and has previously tweeted his support of the popular non-league side.

Journalist and Author Layth Yousif interviews Jack Wilshere. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTHJournalist and Author Layth Yousif interviews Jack Wilshere. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTH

Speaking exclusively to CometSport Wilshere hailed the club and sent his best wishes to Burke’s braves when they take on Bostik Premier Division side Leatherhead in the fourth qualifying round of the world’s oldest knock-out tournament at Top Field.

Journalist and Author Layth Yousif interviews Jack Wilshere. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTHJournalist and Author Layth Yousif interviews Jack Wilshere. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTH

The former Arsenal star who now plays for West Ham said: “Good luck to Hitchin Town. I’m proud to be from the town and I really hope they can get through to the first round proper,” with the three-time FA Cup winner adding: “I’ve had a lot of great memories in this competition. I hope they can make some brilliant memories of their own.”

Journalist and Author Layth Yousif interviews Jack Wilshere. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTHJournalist and Author Layth Yousif interviews Jack Wilshere. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTH

The visitors earned the right to visit North Herts after easing past Hanwell Town in a replay after a 1-1 draw.

Journalist and Author Layth Yousif interviews Jack Wilshere. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTHJournalist and Author Layth Yousif interviews Jack Wilshere. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTH

The Canaries made it to this stage after beating Hastings United 2-0 through goals from Lewis Ferrell and a Josh Bickerstaff penalty in the previous round. Prior to that they disposed of Didcot Town 4-2 on penalties in a tense replay following a 0-0 draw after extra time at the Loop, prompted by the sides drawing 1-1 in the original game at Fishponds Road.

Journalist and Author Layth Yousif interviews Jack Wilshere. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTHJournalist and Author Layth Yousif interviews Jack Wilshere. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTH

With a cool £25,000 going to this weekend’s winner as a bonus – on top of the £30,000 Hitchin have already banked thanks to their stirring cup run so far, the stakes have never been higher.

The Comets Photographer Danny Loo on location with West Ham United and England player Jack Wilshere and Journalist Layth Yousif. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTHThe Comets Photographer Danny Loo on location with West Ham United and England player Jack Wilshere and Journalist Layth Yousif. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTH

Burke’s Canaries warmed up for the eagerly-awaited tie when they drew 2-2 at Bedworth last Saturday with goals from Ferrell and Isaac Galliford earning a hard-fought point on national Non-League Day.

Journalist and Author Layth Yousif and Jack Wilshere with a copy of the Hitchin Comet. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTHJournalist and Author Layth Yousif and Jack Wilshere with a copy of the Hitchin Comet. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTH

The match was notable for highly-rated keeper Michael Johnson marking 100 league games for the Top Field outfit.

The Comets Photographer Danny Loo on location with West Ham United and England player Jack Wilshere and Journalist Layth Yousif. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTHThe Comets Photographer Danny Loo on location with West Ham United and England player Jack Wilshere and Journalist Layth Yousif. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTH

A Hithcin spokesman added: “We now have an even bigger incentive to win in The Emirates FA Cup tomorrow.

Hitchin Town beat Hastings United 2-0 in the FA Cup third qualifying round at Top Field on Saturday. CREDIT PETER ELSEHitchin Town beat Hastings United 2-0 in the FA Cup third qualifying round at Top Field on Saturday. CREDIT PETER ELSE

“If we win, we’ll host the draw for the First Round Proper on Monday, live to the world from Top Field via BBC Sport and BT Sport.

Fans turn out to support Hitchin Town at Top Field for Non-league day. Picture: Danny LooFans turn out to support Hitchin Town at Top Field for Non-league day. Picture: Danny Loo

“This is huge news for our football club and local community

HItchin Town's Top Field. Credit @laythy29HItchin Town's Top Field. Credit @laythy29

For more information on ticket prices visit the Hitchin Town website.

HItchin Town's Top Field. Credit @laythy29HItchin Town's Top Field. Credit @laythy29

The Jack Wilshere Soccer School runs in Letchworth on Tuesday, October 30, Wednesday, October 31 and Thursday, November 1. Courses are available for boys and girls aged four to 15. Everyone attending will be given a trophy and a signed photograph of Jack.

Top Field, home of Hitchin Town FC. Credit @laythy29Top Field, home of Hitchin Town FC. Credit @laythy29

Across the three days youngsters will also have the chance to meet Jack and receive expert coaching from him and coaches provided by soccer school associate Paul Deller and his ‘Grassroots Soccer’ organisation.

HItchin Town's Top Field. Credit @laythy29HItchin Town's Top Field. Credit @laythy29

To book visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/jack-wilshere-and-grassroots-soccer-school-tickets-48987092713

Top Field, home of Hitchin Town FC. Picture @laythy29 Twitter and InstagramTop Field, home of Hitchin Town FC. Picture @laythy29 Twitter and Instagram

Follow Layth on Twitter @laythy29

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