Tigers stars Hawkins and Smith visited nine-year-old Ben and his family at their home in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire on Wednesday to hand over their season tickets for next year.
“It was a big surprise,” says Ben. “Geordan Murphy is my favourite player and I’m looking forward to seeing him play at Welford Road next year.”
It is the first time that Ben, dad David and seven-year-old sister Hannah have had season tickets to Welford Road, and they will cheer on Tigers from the Goldsmiths Stand.
David spread the cost of his and Ben’s tickets over the season by taking out interest free direct debit, and with under-10s going free to Tigers home games when accompanied by a full-paying adult, Hannah’s season ticket did not cost him a penny.
And for purchasing their ticket by direct debit before March 4 – the deadline for the best available season ticket price – the Smith family were entered into a draw to have their season ticket delivered by a Tigers player.
“It was a real surprise when we were told that Ben had won the draw,” said David. “We kept it a secret right up until the door bell went. He was shocked to say the least!
“We don’t normally win prizes so it was a really nice surprise.
“We have been going for the last two years but this will be the first time as season ticket holders. It’s good value and the direct debit really helps."
David added: "Unfortunately mum prefers the rounder ball game!"
Hawkins said: “It’s nice to be able to surprise the younger Tigers fans like this and give something back to the guys who support us every week.”
Smith added: “It’s one of the benefits of being a rugby player that you can put a smile on the faces of young fans – and mum and dad as well!”
More than 10,000 supporters have already purchased or renewed their season tickets to watch Leicester Tigers next season.
A Tigers season ticket guarantees entry to all home games in the regular season in the Aviva Premiership, the LV= Cup and the Heineken Cup pool rounds. This season the package included the equivalent of five games free for every supporter compared with match ticket prices.
Current prices are being held until June 1, and all current season ticket holders who have yet to renew will have their place held until that date.
You can spread the cost over the next 10 months using the fee-free, interest-free direct debit option.
There are other benefits too, including priority booking for any knockout fixtures and Tigers Club Store discounts.
There are price categories for Adults, Over-65s, Young Adults/Full-Time Students, Juniors (under 18) and Family.
Supporters aged under 10 years are able to claim a free season ticket when accompanied by a full-paying adult.
Call in at the Welford Road ticket office, phone the hotline on 0844 856 1880 or click here to book online