Saturday 8 January 2011: Express Yourself... You Can't Be Wrong
In 2002 the World Cup was taking place in Korea and Japan.
Boy and Beloved are feverant England Supporters - It's gonna happen when one of them is Blackburn born and bred. Right through the World Cup he wore his England shirt with Pride and watched the boys get pulped.
This would have been the same story all over the country, but for Boy it was a bit more painful than most. We live in Scotland, and you know how the Scots Football Fans feel about the English! But he stood strong and never gave into the relentless bullying.
For his birthday in the September, his dad was taking him to his first big England Match. They were going to get up early in the morning, and drive to Birmingham, watch the match and drive back! This was his reward for suffering during the World Cup.
I felt that it was such a trip, I wanted to make it a bit more exciting. I wrote to Sky TV and asked them if maybe the two of them who were travelling so far just for the match, could maybe see round the outside broadcast studios. I didn't expect to hear anything, and never said anything to anyone.
The Friday before they were due to go, I was in my work, when I got shouted to the boss' office. It was the School on the phone. Mother goes in to panic mode. I listened waiting to hear who had broken what, and my mouth fell open when I heard the School secretary tell me that "A nice lady from that Sky would like me to phone her". She went on to tell me that the lady had been so happy she had finally tracked Boy down. She had been trying to get in touch with me, but I hadn't left a phone number, so she had got a list of the schools in the post code area and began phoning round them until she found Boy!
When I called her, she said that everyone had loved my letter and wanted to give Boy a great birthday. Boy and Beloved were to meet her outside the Production Office when they arrived, and they would be taken inside the Ground to be taken to the Commentary Box and meet Boy's hero Alan Shearer.
I was almost exploding with excitement, how would we break it to him???
I got home and as was routine, Beloved and I headed out for the shopping. I still hadn't told him! As we wandered round the shop I mentioned that I had written to Sky and then told him about the phone call. Then I told him that tomorrow, he would be taking his boy to meet his Hero. He was speechless.
We left it until they were about to leave the next morning before we told Boy. We wanted him to sleep the night before.
When they got there, they were walked right across the pitch, clambered over the stands and up to the Commentary box, where they were introduced to Alan Shearer and Richard Keyes. Boy and Beloved were beside themselves with excitement. Photos were taken (Which were lost), and then Andy Gray arrived!....
Grabbed Boy in a choke hold, mussed his hair up and called him a Turncoat! Mmm Yes. There is no helping some folk eh?
This is Boy's shirt, complete with signature and burger stains. It went on the wall and was never allowed to be washed!