Performing in front of Rovers boss Gary Bowyer and the players was more nerve-wracking than performing in front of music mogul Simon Cowell and the judges!
That was the verdict of X Factor hopeful and avid Rovers fan Reece Bibby, who was invited to spend the day with his heroes after starring on the hit ITV show.
Reece grabbed the nation’s attention after wowing the judges with his rendition of Latch by Disclosure on the opening night of the new series.
After hitting the headlines, the 16-year-old singing sensation was treated to an exclusive trip to the training ground, where he watched the first team squad showcase their skills, before the tables were turned and he performed in front of the players.
“Watching the players train was just epic!” he said. “I then got to meet them all, I got to meet Gary Bowyer and went into his office, where I sat in his chair and even picked a starting XI for the game against Wigan!
“I then came into the dining room and performed two songs for them and they seemed to like it, so it’s been an amazing day.
“They’ve been my idols all my life, I’ve grown up with Blackburn Rovers, got a season ticket when I was about three years old, so it’s absolutely crazy for Blackburn players coming up and asking me for pictures!
“I’m not even joking, I was shaking more in there with the Blackburn players than I was in front of the judges. I think Gary Bowyer’s a bit more nerve-wracking than Simon Cowell to be honest!
“I can’t thank the club enough for inviting me down to meet my heroes – they’ve been so sound. Sitting in Ewood Park a couple of years ago, I never ever thought I’d be down at Brockhall performing in the training centre.”
Manager Gary Bowyer was delighted Reece enjoyed his special day and he hopes the people of Blackburn get behind the local lad, who is being tipped to go far on the show.
“His performances were phenomenal and we wish him all the best,” said the Rovers boss.
“With a voice like that, he’s going to be a close contender that’s for sure. For somebody who has come out of the community, the whole town has got to support him massively. The Blackburn Rovers supporters have always been good to us and now they’ve got to be good to Reece and try to get him through to the live finals if we can.
“Someone told me the winner last year was a big Leicester fan and they got promoted, so hopefully lightning can strike twice as they say!”
Reece followed up his Brockhall bow by making his Ewood debut – performing in the Fosters FanZone ahead of the game against Wigan Athletic, before being presented to the crowd at half-time.