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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 July, 2005, 12:43 GMT 13:43 UK
Ex-player's son is TNS's mascot
Matthew Digwood
Matthew will help lead out TNS Llansantffraid at Anfield
The son of a former TNS Llansantffraid player killed in an accident in Italy was the club's mascot for the key Champions League clash.

Matthew Digwood, seven, a Liverpool fan, had divided loyalties but predicted the Premiership side's win.

In the sell-out crowd watching him at Anfield on Wednesday was his mother, grandfather and uncle.

Martyn Digwood, from Llanfyllin, Powys, died after he was hit by a car while on a trip to watch Wales v Italy in 2003.

Before the match, Matthew's mother Helen Thomas, who lives in Llanfyllin and works at the town's high school, said: "Matthew is a huge Liverpool fan and I think he thinks they'll win, but he's going to be TNS' mascot.

"He'll have divided loyalties because he said he'd be supporting both teams."

Matthew is a huge Liverpool fan
Matthew's mother, Helen

"He won't be disappointed which ever way the game goes."

Miss Thomas said her partner Martyn played for Llansantffraid before the club took the TNS name.

"Matthew attends TNS holiday coaching sessions and he was nominated by the coach Mike Davies," added Miss Thomas.

"I think part of the reason why Matthew was chosen was because Martyn had played for the club too."

She said her son had been "brave and amazing" following the death of his father.

"He's been very supportive to me."

As for Wednesday's historic European clash at Liverpool's Anfield stadium, Miss Thomas said Matthew, a pupil at Llanfyllin Primary School, had not seemed nervous.

Martyn Digwood
Martyn Digwood was a well-known football player in mid Wales

"He hasn't said much about it, although I think he'll be excited."

Mr Digwood, who was player-manager of Llanfyllin football club, died nine days after being hit by a pick-up vehicle while crossing a road at Rivoli, near Turin, in September 2003.

He had gone to Italy to watch the football international against Wales.

He also left a daughter Catherine who is now two.

Mr Digwood had been player manager of Llanfyllin for 18 months after a playing career with Wrexham, Welshpool, Oswestry, Llanidloes and Llansantffraid.


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