A YOUNG Rovers fan will see his heroes fight for promotion to the Premier League for free next season - after being handed a golden season ticket by manager Gary Bowyer.

Matthew Spencer was given the ticket as he walked through the town centre with his mum yesterday morning.

The nine-year-old, of Knowles Street, Rishton, is the first of 20 lucky fans who will receive free tickets to celebrate 20 years since the club won the Premier League title.

The St Charles’ Primary School pupil was walking with his mum, Bernadette, outside the club shop, wearing his Rovers shirt, when Mr Bowyer approached. “I said to my mum, ‘that’s Gary Bowyer’, but she said, ‘it can’t be’. Then he walked up to us and gave me the ticket. I was really surprised. I’m really happy, and my friends will be jealous.”

Matthew, who lives with his mum and dad, Scott, already travels to see Rovers home and away, and has been a club mascot in the past.

Mr Bowyer said: “It’s a fantastic idea from the club to celebrate 20 years since winning the Premier League. To come into town and find this young lad was a tremendous feeling.”

Bernadette added: “His dad Scott was at work, but he will be ecstatic. We always wave at Gary from the Jack Walker Stand, and we go and watch the team train too.”

Outside, a Rovers’ staff member was given his own special ticket - a parking fine - much to the amusement of Mr Bowyer, who left at around 10am.

The 19 remaining tickets will be given away over the course of the pre-season, although the club has yet to reveal how it will do it.