Talented Richmondshire youngster hoping Covid-19 won’t stop Barcelona trip

Jonathan Barker with son Matthew.

A young footballer is hoping the  Covid-19 pandemic won’t mean the cancellation of a trip of a lifetime to play football in Barcelona.

Eight-year-old Matthew Barker, from Harmby, near Leyburn, is due to travel to Spain in October to represent the North-East at an elite tournament.

But the youngster is waiting to hear if the event will be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Matthew currently plays for Boro Rangers Madrid U8s, who play in the first division of the Teesside League.

He also attends Middlesbrough FC’s Pre-academy and the Leeds United Development Centre in Middlesbrough.

Dad Jonathan, manager at the Co-op store in Leyburn, said this meant a hectic schedule for the youngster, who travels to Middlesbrough up to six times a week.

He added: “Matthew is so looking forward to the Barcelona trip.

“To be one of ten kids to be picked to represent a North-East team is amazing, but to not be able to go would be heart breaking for him, even more now as the league he plays in have just ended the season and he just wants to play football.”

Jonathan is looking for sponsorship for Matthew from local businesses or individuals.

He added: “I am trying to get some sponsorship for him to go to Barcelona, or just to help with transport costs as it costs £100 a week in diesel to take him to Boro every week.”

Any business pr individuals who would be interested in sponsoring Matthew as a player or for the tour should contact Mr Barker by email at jonathanbarker48@gmail.com