Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

BORO BOY'S LONG WALK HOME; Exclusive: They Thought He Was Lost but He Was Miles Away at Nan's

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

BORO BOY'S LONG WALK HOME; Exclusive: They Thought He Was Lost but He Was Miles Away at Nan's

Article excerpt

Byline: BySARAH JUDD

A YOUNG Boro fan walked nearly four miles home alone - unaware of a frantic search going on for him at the Riverside Stadium.

Frankie Boynton, eight, sparked a full-scale search of the Middlesbrough ground and surrounding area when he got separated from his dad towards the end of Boro's 1-0 win over Derby on Saturday.

Mum Donna, 29, told the Evening Gazette of the frantic one-hour search at the height of Saturday's blizzard.

She feared someone had taken him.

Donna, who was working behind the bar in the West Stand upper, first realised something was wrong when she heard an announcement asking her little boy to head towards a steward if he was still in the ground.

"I phoned my husband straight away and he said 'I don't know what's happened, I've lost him.' "He must have gone down the tunnel towards the pitch to watch the rest of the match while his dad went to the toilet. When his dad came out, he went the other way, thinking he must have gone out of the stadium."

It was every parent's worst nightmare as crowds of people left while mum and dad searched for Frankie.

"The stewards kept coming back saying they couldn't find him and I just thought, 'someone's taken him'," said Donna.

"I knew we had to find him quick because of the hail and snow."

But Donna needn't have worried.

After realising he couldn't find his dad - also called Frankie - the street-wise youngster made his way out of the stadium via the subway to look for their car.

But unable to remember where they had parked, he decided to make his own way to his nana's on Broadwell Road, just round the corner from the family's home in Easterside.

"I didn't shout at him but I have told him if it happens again to ask a steward or a policeman for help," said a relieved Donna, who admits she was also concerned at the lack of help he received from passers-by near the ground. …

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