Before Christmas, Alopecia UK was delighted to play a small part in arranging a treat for one of our 2023 fundraisers. When we learned that Madeleine lives in Southampton, home to the football club of our ambassador Will Smallbone, we pulled a few strings. We were delighted then Southampton FC offered Madeleine to be a Matchday Mascot at their Boxing Day match against Swansea. 

Madeleine walked out to a sell-out crowd on the 26th December (see her walk out here) and we were keen to find out how she got on..

Why was it important for you to not wear your headscarf when you walked out onto the pitch?

I wanted to raise awareness of alopecia and to show everyone that having alopecia doesn't stop you from doing anything.  It was very cold that day so I wore my headscarf in the warm-up but wanted to not wear it when I came out onto the pitch in front of all the supporters. 

How did it feel having 30,000 people in the crowd around you?

I was a bit nervous when we were in the tunnel waiting to come out but once we were out on the pitch I was ok and felt very proud to have been given the opportunity to be a mascot. 

What was your favourite part of the day?

Definitely meeting Will Smallbone. He is very kind and he is just a normal person.  Will chatted to me before the game and then after the game he came and met us and gave me his signed match-worn shirt. I had the best day!

We are thrilled that Madeleine had a fantastic time at Southampton FC. It was thoroughly deserved!

Thank you to our ambassador Will Smallbone, and to Southampton FC. With the 5-0 win on the day, we wonder if Madeleine was a good luck charm!