Jake's treasure trove of World Cup souvenirs topped off thanks to Aussie superstar

Jake Garton, 9, meeting Australian superstar and Rugby League World Cup winner Cameron Munster outside Old Trafford after the showpiece final against Samoa
Jake Garton, 9, meeting Australian superstar and Rugby League World Cup winner Cameron Munster outside Old Trafford after the showpiece final against Samoa

NINE-YEAR-OLD Warrington Wolves fan Jake Garton was so pleased with the Rugby League World Cup memento he received from winning Australia half-back Cameron Munster outside Old Trafford that he decided to sleep with it.

The Melbourne Storm superstar thought as quickly on his feet as he does on the rugby field when he was leaving Manchester United’s ground after Saturday’s World Cup final victory over Samoa as he realised he had run out of match items to offer a starry-eyed youngster a souvenir of the sport’s biggest occasion.

“Mate, I’ve nothing left to give you,” he told the Locking Stumps Primary School pupil, who had been patiently waiting with some of his Woolston Rovers teammates to greet some of the greatest rugby league players and coaches on the planet after watching them lock horns in the Theatre of Dreams.

Then suddenly it clicked as Munster, proudly wearing his winners' medal around his neck, said: “I tell you what, have my gold medal box.”

And the 28-year-old proceeded to autograph the prized possession as well.

Warrington Guardian: Jake Garton talking to Cameron Munster
Warrington Guardian: Jake Garton talking to Cameron Munster

Jake Garton talking to Cameron Munster (Image: Contributed)

Warrington Guardian: Cameron Munster hands over his medal box to Woolston Rovers junior Jake Garton
Warrington Guardian: Cameron Munster hands over his medal box to Woolston Rovers junior Jake Garton

Cameron Munster hands over his medal box to Woolston Rovers junior Jake Garton (Image: Contributed)

Warrington Guardian: Cameron Munster poses for a picture with Jake Garton after handing the nine-year-old his gold-medal box
Warrington Guardian: Cameron Munster poses for a picture with Jake Garton after handing the nine-year-old his gold-medal box

Cameron Munster poses for a picture with Jake Garton after handing the nine-year-old his gold-medal box (Image: Contributed)

Warrington Guardian: Jake Garton is delighted with his gift from Cameron Munster
Warrington Guardian: Jake Garton is delighted with his gift from Cameron Munster

Jake Garton is delighted with his gift from Cameron Munster (Image: Contributed)

Warrington Guardian: Cameron Munster's autographed medal box that he handed over to Warrington nine-year-old Jake Garton
Warrington Guardian: Cameron Munster's autographed medal box that he handed over to Warrington nine-year-old Jake Garton

Cameron Munster's autographed medal box that he handed over to Warrington nine-year-old Jake Garton (Image: Contributed)

It proved not to be Jake’s only item of player treasure from the tournament staged across England over five weeks, but certainly the one that has inspired him the most.

“Jake slept with the box on Saturday night and all the way home from the game he just kept telling me how special this was,” said his mum Sarah.

“It’s made him want to win his own medal to place into it.”

The hanging around outside Old Trafford certainly had its rewards for Jake and his Rovers pals – who even got to share in the players’ post-match refreshments!

“Jake and his friends had been waiting outside the stadium for around two hours to meet the players,” said Sarah.

“They got to meet and take selfies with players from both the Samoan and the Australian team as well as the refs and some of the commentators from the BBC.

“Staff from both teams came out and gave out official match balls, which the boys got signed by the players, as well as pizza from the changing rooms, fruit pots, drinks, and the interchange signs.

“Jake’s friend Jaiden was gifted match shorts from the final from Cameron, but when Cameron then moved to sign Jake’s ball he had nothing left to give him, so then gave him his medal display box and offered to sign it.”

Warrington Guardian: Jake Garton, left, with his friends and the gifts they received from Rugby League World Cup Final players and staff outside Old Trafford on Saturday
Warrington Guardian: Jake Garton, left, with his friends and the gifts they received from Rugby League World Cup Final players and staff outside Old Trafford on Saturday

Jake Garton, left, with his friends and the gifts they received from Rugby League World Cup Final players and staff outside Old Trafford on Saturday (Image: Contributed)

Warrington Guardian: Jake Garton, right, and some of his Woolston Rovers under nines teammates meet Australian winger and Rugby League World Cup 2021 top try scorer Josh Addo-Carr
Warrington Guardian: Jake Garton, right, and some of his Woolston Rovers under nines teammates meet Australian winger and Rugby League World Cup 2021 top try scorer Josh Addo-Carr

Jake Garton, right, and some of his Woolston Rovers under nines teammates meet Australian winger and Rugby League World Cup 2021 top try scorer Josh Addo-Carr (Image: Contributed)

Warrington Guardian: Jake Garton, centre, and his friends meet Samoa's Penrith Panthers 2022 Grand Final winning stand off Jarome Luai after Saturday's Rugby League World Cup Final at Old Trafford in Manchester
Warrington Guardian: Jake Garton, centre, and his friends meet Samoa's Penrith Panthers 2022 Grand Final winning stand off Jarome Luai after Saturday's Rugby League World Cup Final at Old Trafford in Manchester

Jake Garton, centre, and his friends meet Samoa's Penrith Panthers 2022 Grand Final winning stand off Jarome Luai after Saturday's Rugby League World Cup Final at Old Trafford in Manchester (Image: Contributed)

Jake attended several games during the World Cup, including England’s group game against France at the University of Bolton Stadium when he was gifted prop forward Tom Burgess’ match shorts.

Warrington Guardian: Jake Garton, 9, after being presented with Tom Burgess' shorts
Warrington Guardian: Jake Garton, 9, after being presented with Tom Burgess' shorts

Jake Garton, 9, after being presented with Tom Burgess' shorts (Image: Contributed)

The young centre has played rugby for Woolston Rovers Greens from the age of four but as a supporter he now has a new hero to look up to.

“His actual favourite player is Warrington Wolves’ Matty Ashton although I think Cameron will definitely be up there now,” said Sarah.