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You never forget your first time ... Over the past couple of weeks we have focused on some of your Boro debut memories. ? Here's a few more to round off our mini-series for now. ? If you want to tell us the story of your first time for future flashbacks email me at anthony. vickers@trinitymirror.com.



Byline: Anthony Vickers Sports reporter anthony.vickers@eveninggazette.co.uk

"MY debut was, I think, 1982 against the Mags. I say I think as I was only four years old so it's all a bit hazy and I'm dependent on hearsay.

"But, assuming what I've been told is correct, I went with my elder brother Chris. It was Mogga's home debut and he had Keegan in his pocket.

"It was, definitely, in the North East corner - which was possibly my most frequented area of Ayresome Park, although I did have successful loan spells in the Holgate and chicken run (once famously falling off my vantage point of those red safety rails against Newcastle on our way to the ZDS final and celebrating in the foetal position on the rolling steps).

"My brother took me over the next decade plus, getting a 'squeeze' here and giving me a piggy back there. Halcyon days! "The genuine twinge of nerves getting on the 63 as if you were going to pull on the shirt yourself, the hairs standing up on the back of your neck when the players ran out while I was focusing on the distant bobbing Holgate end showering in their own ticker-tape parade of ripped up stubs framed by Mogga's moon-bound hoof into the stratosphere.

"The thrill, noise and genuine confusion of the reaction of grown men going tribal when a goal was scored. The joy of hearing umpteen previously unheard swear words!

"Flash forward 90 minutes and then the inevitable disappointment as you make your way back to Linthorpe Road - hoping that Airwolf might make up for Boro'inadequacies and you'd get a chance to recreate a few of the game highlights on the local field before it got dark." g 's on - DANIEL BARTLEY "IT was the March or April of 1987 and Rioch's rollercoaster ride was well in motion. d n "Caught up in the furore, two of my uncles were going to the game. They stopped off at my aunt's house where my brothers and cousins were playing - and we ended up going. y y y d tg "I was eight and very excited. I had started to get interested in football following the 1986 World Cup and this was my firschance at a match!

st "We won 3-0 and I think Archie Stephens, Slav and Lee Turnbull scored. We were in the Holgate end stood right a the front but I recall sat on one of the post hings the crowd leaned on at one point. e d. at st ce.

"I remember the atmosphere was electric and it was very buoyant in the Holgate. I recall the smells of lager breath mixed with Bovril and less savoury odours.

d "I don't really remember the match itself, just a memory of someone picking the ball out the net for one of the goals. h g "The following season me and my two o brothers had season tickets in the north stand family enclosure." h - S- STE ROVARDI "MY first game was away to Blackburn aEwood Park, I must have been around at d seven. My uncle organised this day for me, my dad, my cousin and himself but he forgot to buy tickets somehow and we ended up buying home tickets on the door to sit with the Blackburn fans.

"I was massively excited and had my Boro top over my many layers of jackets and jumpers and I was sat in their version of the East stand singing Boro songs.

"I had no clue about what could have happened through this but my dad (Michael Russell, namedrop him he will be buzzing) said he was feeling a bit nervy when I was singing, but luckily we had no trouble."

- JAMES RUSSELL "AS a reward for getting into the Roseberry Junior school A team in Billingham (centre forward alongside the captain Willie Maddren no less!) my dad took me to my first match to see Stanley Matthews in a 2-2 draw with Stoke in 1961.

"I think lots of dads had the same idea because there was double the usual crowd. I could hardly see a thing, but assume I saw the great man.

"However, I came away supporting my first hero Alan Peacock and have been hooked ever since. Dad wasn't interested in football and that was the only match he ever attended."

- GEOFF MILLS "THE first game I can remember was in 1953. The older lads in Church Street, in Doggie, were going to see George Hardwick, who was returning to Boro with Oldham that afternoon.

"In those days on a Saturday afternoon Doggie market place was heaving with men queuing up for the E bus to take them to Ayresome Park. Those were the days.

"I am still a season ticket holder in the west stand. Also in 1955 I was working for Cresswell the builders and we were concreting the foundations for the new-fangled floodlights at Ayrsome Park."

- BRIAN SELLARS "MY debut was against Peterborough at home in Febuary 1992 in the Rumbelows Cup when I was nine.

"I was hooked as soon as I entered the ground. Of all the games I've attended over the years my first is still the most vivid in my head - the sounds, the smell, the atmosphere - and it has led to rituals that I still have on a match day, like being at the ground two hours before kick off, buying two Bovrils but letting one go cold (strange I know).

"I remember the Peterborough keeper running out with some kind of old man/ halloween mask on.

"We won 1-0. Stuart Ripley lashed it into the top corner and I have an image of Jamie Pollock jumping on the back of a Peterborough player piggy back style just to stop him ... he was my favourite play for a while after that.

"It wasn't just the football that got be hooked, it was the sense of belonging to something, it was the whole experience."

- RORY HARTLEY

CAPTION(S):

Archie Stephens was on target in the first match Ste Rovardi saw in the 1986-87 promotion season ? Daniel Bartley remembers debut boy Tony Mowbray, above, having Kevin Keegan, left, in his pocket in a clash at Ayresome Park

Rory Hartley recalls Jamie Pollock taking a piggy-back ride on a Peterborough player in a bid to halt his progress and Stuart Ripley, above left, scoring a cracker

Star attractions: In his first match at Ayresome Park Geoff Mills saw Stanley Matthews, left, playing for Stoke. On his first trip to the Boro Brian Sellars saw George Hardwick, above, returning with Oldham
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 5, 2014
Words:1102
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