WHEN Liechtenstein winger Franz Burgmeier made a dream move to League Two side Darlington he knew who to thank - the chairman's 12-year-old grandson, Max.

Max Houghton, the grandson of George Houghton, spotted Burgmeier playing in a Euro 2004 qualifying match for Liechtenstein against England in 2003.

Max, who goes to the Royal Grammar School in Newcastle, said he was impressed by the player's stamina, and thought that he 'worked his socks off.'

Max, who was seven at the time, said: "He was very similar to Michael Essien."

Burgmeier, the first player from Liechtenstein to ever play in England, still has Gary Neville and Nicky Butt's shirts, which he swapped after the game against England.

Burgmeier said: "We lost 2-0 in that game but that isn't bad for a small country like Liechtenstein. Thank you to Max."

Max added: "I'd like to be a footballer, but if not, I'd like to be a football manager."

Max spends up to two hours a night scouting players on his Playstation 3 computer game Fifa 2008, and Wikipedia.

He gives lists of potential Darlington signings to his granddad George, who passes them on to Quakers boss Dave Penney.

When Darlington needed a new left winger, Max logged onto Wikipedia to see how Franz was getting on.

He saw that he had just been released by Swiss side FC Basle, and told his granddad.

The club then tried in vain to get in touch with Burgmeier so Max contacted the Lichenstein football association, who passed on a message to the player.

Burgmeier then had a week's trial before signing for the club and has now played three games, scoring last weekend.

Max said: "When he scored last week, I was dancing around the room.

"Dave Penney thinks I'm really funny," he added. "I'll be looking out for more players for them in the future."