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
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.
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.
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.
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.”
The visitors earned the right to visit North Herts after easing past Hanwell Town in a replay after a 1-1 draw.
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.
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.
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.
The match was notable for highly-rated keeper Michael Johnson marking 100 league games for the Top Field outfit.
A Hithcin spokesman added: “We now have an even bigger incentive to win in The Emirates FA Cup tomorrow.
“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.
“This is huge news for our football club and local community
For more information on ticket prices visit the Hitchin Town website.
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.
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.
To book visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/jack-wilshere-and-grassroots-soccer-school-tickets-48987092713
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