On Saturday, 400 lucky young Arsenal fans will be gearing up for a night to remember as they camp out overnight on the Emirates Stadium pitch. 

To assist in the preparations, defender Per Mertesacker and team-mate Gervinho gamely donned their pyjamas and dressing gowns to test drive the sleeping conditions on offer for the ultimate sleepover.

This unique and fun-packed event, attended by Junior Gunners* aged between 7 and 12 years old, includes the chance to play on the pitch overseen by qualified coaches, eat post-match dinner up on the Club Level hospitality tier and watch the Champions League final before lights out and the big sleepover begins.

While sat tent-side, Mertesacker commented: “At 6ft 5, the tent was slightly on the small side for me, it was far more suited to Gervinho! On the whole though I was very comfortable, and it was nice to have my very own Gunnersaurus to settle down with.  It will be a really fun and exciting night, if I can get a specially adaptable tent maybe I’ll try to sneak in and join the fun!”

Sue Campbell, head of events and supporter liaison added: “We’re very proud of the exciting activities our members have access to and camping on the pitch is just one of the initiatives that demonstrate that we like to go the extra mile for our fans. 

"With the Champions League final being screened that night, it is sure to be special and unique experience for everyone involved. Along with the tickets on offer, chance to be a Club Mascot and days out, there are many reasons to join up and become a Junior Gunner!”

*Arsenal’s young supporters club, the Junior Gunners, is for boys and girls from new born to 16 with three age groups: Welcome to our World (new born to three years of age), Team JGs (four to 11) and Young Guns (12 to 16 years of age). All JGs receive special membership packs upon joining and have the chance to attend exclusive events with players throughout the season.

Only members can lead the team out at Arsenal games as official mascots, have access to reduced price match tickets and exclusive events like the annual Christmas party and February half term Q&A session with first-team players! Membership is priced £20 when paying by direct debit or £25 full price. Visit www.arsenal.com/alwaysaheadofthegame for further information and to sign up for the 2012/2013 season.

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source
16 May 2012