Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Lifelong Boro Fans Set to Make Their First Trip Tothe the Riverside; at 87 and 97, Friends Finally Get the Chance to See Their Favourite Team at Its 'New' Ground

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Lifelong Boro Fans Set to Make Their First Trip Tothe the Riverside; at 87 and 97, Friends Finally Get the Chance to See Their Favourite Team at Its 'New' Ground

Article excerpt

VETERAN Boro fans Molly Martland and Maureen Dampier like nothing better than to get together and discuss the latest game.

e two friends, Molly, 97, and Maureen, 87, both of Middlesbrough, met two years at a lunch club in Grove Hill and discovered a common interest in the team. Until now they have been following the Boro by watching TV, listening tothe radio and reading newspapers.

But on Friday, April 3, they will be at the Riverside Stadium for the rst time, with seats in the front row as special guests of Middlesbrough Football Club watching their team play Wigan.

ey both used to go to matches at Ayresome Park with their late husbands, have always followed the fortunes of the team, but have never been tothe Riverside.

When Tees Valley Royal Voluntary Service started the Tuesday lunch club at the Evergreen Walk Centre in Grove Hill, Molly and Maureen found themselves sitting next to each other and soon became friends with lots in common.

Both are ercely independent and determined to manage at home themselves despite having had bad falls in recent years - Maureen broke her hip and Molly her shoulder and arm - and both love following the Boro.

As well as meeting up on a Tuesday, they go to another lunch club together on a ursday and every Sunday Molly, who lives in Saltersgill, gets a taxi to Maureen's Acklam home and they have lunch together.

is gives them the chance to discuss the previous day's game.

"Just because we're older it doesn't mean that we can't enjoy football and enjoy discussing it," says Molly. She's delighted to get the opportunity to nally go to a game at the Riverside at the age of 97 and is really hoping for a win against Wigan.

"We want automatic promotion, not to have to mess around with the play-o s," she says.

Maureen agrees but also feels that Boro often get a hard time from the referees.

"Sometimes we feel that the refs are against us, but then we are biased," she says.

Maureen can remember seeing Jackie Charlton play at Ayresome Park against Boro and enjoyed watching Italian goalkeeper Ronaldo Ugolini, who played from 1948-1956, in action. …

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