Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Boro and Family Were Bam Bam's Big Love

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Boro and Family Were Bam Bam's Big Love

Article excerpt

Byline: Dave Robson Senior Reporter

MEMORIES of a legendary supporter filled the air as Boro played their first game since the death of Frankie "Bam Bam" Bointon.

Perhaps the club's biggest fan, the devoted family man died on Saturday, aged 65, after suffering a cardiac arrest.

And last night, the Riverside Stadium crowd - including Boro chairman Steve Gibson - saluted one of their own with a poignant minute's applause when the clock showed 65 minutes played.

Born "over the border" in Feversham Street, Middlesbrough, his early years were spent in Thorntree before the family moved to Easterside, where he spent most of his life. He married Diane 46 years ago and the couple had two children - Frankie Junior and Alyson. They also have six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

The 6ft 1ins scaffolder had two loves - his family and the Boro. His uncle Tony took him to his first Boro match in the early 1950s and that was it - he'd caught the bug.

Frankie Jnr, 45, said: "Whether they were playing Accrington Stanley or Real Madrid, he just loved it. He'd have watched them play tiddlywinks. In 23 years, he only missed three games, home and away - and that was because of two weddings and a christening.

And he knew everyone from all walks of life - from the scruffiest to the millionaire."

From chairman Steve Gibson downwards, everyone at Boro knew and valued "The Bam". Since news of his death broke, Boro legends like Gary Hamilton and Billy Ashcroft have joined hundreds of fans on social media, expressing their sadness and respect. Eighteen pubs in the town held a minute's silence in his memory.

And last night, more than 12,000 people at Boro's home game with Hudders-field Town applauded the man and his memory.

Frankie said: "He got all the fans going. He'd sing 'I am The Bam, I am the song and dance'.

"He wasn't a fighter, but he wouldn't let anyone walk all over him. He was once included in a list of Boro boot boys and he went mad, demanding he was taken out of it. He was one of the biggest and main characters, yes, but he wasn't a boot boy. …

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