John Barnes and Kevin Keegan!
As you all know, I'm a big football fan and for me, the magic of the FA Cup never fails to surprise or excite. This year it was no different. Having succeeded through the early rounds my boys (Bristol Rovers) were handed a 3rd round draw against Premier League Aston Villa at home. As soon as tickets were available I got ours.
This match was going to be the first time I'd get to share such an occasion with my lad, Keagan. We set off early and arrived at the ground 2 and half hours before kick off. We have a fab supporters club where we meet up with friend's and have a drink and food before going round to take our seats.
Yesterday, we went round to our seats a little earlier than normal as Keagan wanted to watch Aston Villa warm up, which they did right in front of us, so that he could spot the likes of Emile Heskey, Darren Bent and Stephen Ireland. However, what we saw when we got to our end was a huge surprise which caused great excitement. ESPN tv were covering the match and had set up their outside studio right in the corner, just in front of us. It was fascinating watching how they prepared, filmed and produced from an outdoor studio. Presenting was Ray Stubbs and the 2 pundits were none other than John Barnes and Kevin Keegan.
In between prep and filming we asked John Barnes and Kevin Keegan for their autographs. They were both lovely, I introduced my Keagan to Kevin, saying " Kevin, meet Keagan!" He laughed and I explained that my Keagan was indeed partly named after him. He had a chat with Keagan and shook his hand. John Barnes was a character and teased me that I couldn't possibly of seen him play as I wasn't old enough, surely? Ha ha, of course, I am old enough and saw him play throughout my childhood. I told him I even saw Ian Rush come on for Liverpool against Rovers. Barnes said to me I must've been a little girl then. He also told me off for getting him to come over as that meant getting his shoes dirty! Nice bit of banter from Barnes.
But for me, being able to introduce my Keagan to Kevin Keegan was what made the night.
As for the game, well we lost 1-3, but we did ourselves proud. After all, the gulf between league 2 and the premier league is huge these days. Funnily enough, Villa recently beat Chelsea by the same score and during the game the Villa fans were singing at us " Are you Chelsea in disguise?" I'll take that as a compliment, well being compared to Chelsea is no insult, is it?!
Take care Zo x