Saints fans lined up at Above Bar Street for the unveiling of the new JD store by three of the club's players.

Dozens of fans had the opportunity to meet Southampton FC players Romeo Lava, Seku Mara, Kyle Walker-Peters and Ainsley Maitland-Niles at the new sportswear giant store in the city centre.

The meet and greet with the players at the new 9,500sq ft store, previously occupied by Topman, included a questions and answers session and prizes being handed out to fans.

The ‘soft launch’ of the store on Friday will be followed by the official opening of the store this weekend with a new customisation bar for trainers.

Many people saw this as an opportunity to speak to players for the first time.

Fans at the new JD Store on Above Bar Street to meet the Saints players (Image: Newsquest)

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Saints fan Michael Beagley, 68, said: “It’s wonderful to meet the players today, it’s a special feeling because you see them at a distance and it’s nice to feel they’re real people and that they care.

“I will be asking them questions about their commitment to Southampton as I feel like that’s important.

“The other thing I would like to know is if they had to turn up to training tomorrow, and out of three managers we had this season, what one would they prefer.”

Another fan Abbie James, 40 said: “It’s difficult to find the good.

“I have been a Saints fan since I was a child and I think this is possibly the worst they have been so it’s not ideal but we will always support the team and I'm here to tell them that.”

It comes as Southampton FC is set to play Liverpool this Sunday for the final game of the season as the team is officially relegated from the Premier League after an 11-year stay in the top division.

The four players meeting the club's fans (Image: Newsquest)

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Speaking to the Echo, Saints defender Kyle Walker-Peters said it was good to be able to “hear” the fans.

The 26-year-old said: "It's nice to come here to connect with the fans. We don't get opportunities often where we get to answer questions from them.

“I think it's something we owe to them. It hasn't been the best of seasons, it's been tough.

“So, it’s nice for them to get an opportunity to ask us more personal questions where we can actually hear them properly and give them proper answers.”

2023-05-27T02:56:30Z dg43tfdfdgfd