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Happy Jack's fairytale trip

City of Manchester Stadium players tunnel and pitch

City of Manchester Stadium players tunnel and pitch

It really was wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen for Boy Blue Jack Nolan. Seven-year-old Jack went to watch City train at the Parken Stadium and ended up running out alongside Richard Dunne for the UEFA Cup tie 24 hours later!

Surprise mascot Jack was hoping for a few photos with his heroes as a memento of the trip but went home with Robinho's jacket and Pablo Zabaleta's shirt to the envy of his pals at Alkrington primary school in Middleton.

Dad Ian said: "We were standing there outside the ground when, out of the blue, Mark Hughes came over for a chat and then took us into training as his guests. We even stayed for the whole session when all the Press had to leave.

"City didn't have a mascot for the game and suddenly, it was Jack. We had to get our friend Shaun to bring his shorts over on the day - he already had his shirt, of course. He was freezing on the night but he loved every minute.

"Dunny had to stop him going over to join the pre-match kick-about, he was so keen. His mum Lisa cried when he walked out, she was so proud of him. We sat behind the dug-out for the game, and Robby gave him his coat and Zaby his shirt."

The season-ticket holding Nolans also went to Omonia and Schalke, but budding centre-half Jack's first Blues match was at eight months - when he had his picture taken with Ali Benarbia and Darren Huckerby at Maine Road.

Nedum Onuoha, who claimed the opener in the 2-2 draw with Copenhagen, might want to put Jack on permanent standby: he was the official mascot last year against Tottenham ... when Nedum scored his only other senior goal for City.

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Mark Hughes at Press Conference 0809

Mark Hughes has urged fans and critics alike not to make a hasty judgement about his embryonic City team but to regard the side currently sitting tenth in the Barclays Premier League as a work in progress.

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Craig full of praise for talismanic Robinho

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