A lucky NFL fan from London will be making American Football history next weekend by announcing two picks on behalf of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2015 NFL Draft live from London.
London will be the first ever city outside of the USA to play a part of the NFL Draft with George Bedford, 25, announcing the Jaguars' sixth and seventh round Draft picks from a London TV studio having won a competition run by the team. The NFL Draft is a major weekend in the NFL calendar when all 32 teams compete over seven rounds to select the best college players.
Given the Jaguars' commitment to play one home game a year in London over four seasons, the team wanted to honour their UK fan base further by offering one fan the chance to play a key role by making the live TV announcement from London.
Bedford, who lives in Shepherd's Bush, will be revealing the name of the Jaguars' sixth and seventh-round draft picks to millions of viewers as part of a live broadcast via Sky Sports News in the UK and NFL Network in the US on the evening of Saturday 2nd May.
Bedford, who works as a paralegal in Farringdon, said: "I was astonished to hear I had been picked – I would say I was speechless but due to the excitement I was actually talking a lot!
"Ever since the Jaguars committed to playing in London I became interested in them and I've just become more of a fan as they've continued to come back and do more in London. It's great that they're continuing to involve their UK fans – I'm just the really lucky one.
"I played for my university team, the Lancaster Bombers, and I haven't given up my dream of being drafted myself one day! Being realistic, this might be the closest I ever get to the draft and I'm delighted to play a key role in such a major NFL event."
The Jaguars are also giving a fan from Jacksonville the opportunity to play their part in the NFL Draft. Jacksonville local Seth Studer has been selected from the team's home city to announce the fourth and fifth round picks before the city hands over to London for the historic moment.
Seth added: "I am so excited to be announcing these picks for the Jags. I'm a massive fan and I think it's awesome to be involved. It's pretty cool that a fan in the UK also gets this opportunity. It's an exciting time for the Jags, we're on the up and the international exposure that we get from playing in London is great for the team and the city of Jacksonville."
The NFL Draft, a staple of the NFL season since 1936, sees the best 256 college American Football players picked by all 32 NFL franchises over seven rounds. The event plays a major part in each team's preparation for the new season and creates a media and fan frenzy as followers of each team wait to see which exciting new talent will be brought into their team's roster.
The NFL Draft attracted 45.7 million TV viewers last year and will broadcast its first three rounds in a glitzy ceremony in Chicago this year. Through rounds 4-7, each NFL team will then take turns to announce their Draft picks live on camera from their team base. The Jaguars will be the only team to have two home bases – one at EverBank Field in Jacksonville and the other in London.
The Jaguars are the only NFL team to make a yearly commitment to London, playing one home game each year in the capital since 2013. For 2015, the Jaguars will head to Wembley Stadium, for their third visit in as many years, to face the Buffalo Bills on Sunday 25th October. A limited number of tickets are available via www.nfluk.com
For more information about the Jacksonville Jaguars visit www.jaguars.com/UK and Twitter or Facebook /JaguarsUK #BeJaguars