Mason Mount & Christian Pulisic photo: What happened to the other boy in Chelsea photo?

  • Rob Swan
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Mason Mount scored the goal that ensured Chelsea will be competing in the 2021 Champions League final.

The midfielder popped up with five minutes remaining to put the Blues 2-0 up against Real Madrid. Timo Werner netted the other goal in the first half.

Thomas Tuchel’s side will now face Manchester City in an all-English Champions League final in Istanbul on May 29.

Chelsea fans will have been particularly overjoyed to see Mount net Chelsea’s second of the night.

The 22-year-old joined the west London outfit at the age of six and has established his status as one of English football’s best young players this season.

A midfield battle with his international teammate Phil Foden in the Champions League final is a mouth-watering prospect.

An image of Mount and Christian Pulisic, who assisted Chelsea's second goal, from 2010 was doing the rounds on social media again following Chelsea’s victory over Madrid.

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Aged 11 years old at the time, Pulisic was visiting the London club and was snapped alongside Mount and another lad.

But who is the other kid in question?

His name is Tom Carlton, who spoke openly and honestly to Kent Online last August.

Tom had been in Chelsea’s academy for four years when the photo was taken. He was 10 years old and dreamed of representing England.

It was reported in 2020 that Carlton, 21, was plying his trade with Herne Bay FC, a Kent-based team who compete in the Isthmian League South East Division.

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He admitted it can be tough to watch his fellow former starlets shining at the highest level of English football because it could have been him.

“It’s hard, to be honest,” he said. “It’s not because of jealousy or anything like that – fair play to them for making it that far – but it could have been me and that’s why it’s so hard to watch.”

When the photo was posted on Twitter last summer, Tom received a flurry of messages.

“I woke up that morning and my phone had about 500 messages,” he continued. “I was pretty shocked. I didn’t even remember Pulisic being at Chelsea at the time until I saw the picture.

“Apparently, he was there on a 10-day trial and he obviously didn’t get signed at the time.”

Tom was eventually released by Chelsea at the age of 14, along with his close friend Declan Rice, who has gone on to big things with West Ham and England.

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“It was hard to take,” he admitted, “It was heart-breaking.

“For a week after I was really upset; I didn’t go back to school for the next couple of days because my head was all over the place.

“But two or three days later my dad was receiving phone call after phone call from different clubs, like West Ham, Charlton, Millwall, Fulham, Birmingham, West Brom – a lot of clubs.”

He was then released by West Ham, two years later, aged 16.

“It was harder to take because I chucked my life away just for football, really,” he said. “I didn’t see friends; I didn’t see anyone.

“After that, I was thinking, ‘I’ve done all that just to be released again’.

But he decided to continue with football, adding: “I had an agent at the time and after having a chat with him, I thought I’d give it another go.”

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Tom currently competes in the eighth tier of English football and trains twice a week with the non-league team while earning cash by working as a glazier.

“About last year, I wanted to quit football because I was down and depressed a lot,” Carlton added.

“My girlfriend told me I can’t quit because I can still make it - I still have a chance.

“Until I’m at an age where I don’t think I can do it, I’ll still believe that I can make it into the Football League.”

Fingers crossed Tom goes on to fulfil his ambition of becoming a Football League player.

And hopefully he can now look back and smile at the memory of sharing a pitch with Mount and Pulisic, who will now aim to help Chelsea become European champions for only the second time in their history.

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