AN amateur footballer has blown the whistle on his family’s hoilday to Majorca - so he can realise his boyhood dream of playing at Ewood Park.
Ian Pearson, 35, has dreamed of playing at Blackburn Rovers’ ground ever since he missed out as a junior player 23 years ago. And when his team reached the final of the Orphanage Cup, at Ewood Park, he wasn’t going to miss out.
So he has rearranged a holiday to Palma Nova with his wife, Michelle, and four-year-old son Joseph, which has cost him £300, so he can play in Friday’s final.
Fortunately for Ian, Michelle is no football widow. She said: “Even though it has cost a bit to change the holiday, I don’t mind. Joseph and I will be there on Friday to cheer him on.
“Football has always been in his life since we got together 14 years ago so it’s something I understand.
“I support him and he takes Joseph onto games with him.
“Hopefully, he will win and we can all go on holiday with smiles.”
It is not the first time Michelle, 37, a health care assistant at Royal Blackburn Hospital, has had to let football take priority over their holiday.
She said: “Ian came back from a holiday in the Lakes to play in the quarter finals.
“He dropped us off at the caravan park, at Grange over Sands, and then drove back to play the match.”
Blackburn Rovers season ticket holder Ian, a leisure attendant at Darwen Leisure Centre, said: “It’s a lot of money, but it’s worth it because I missed out years ago.
“Amateurs would give their right arm for that opportunity.
“It means everything to any player that starts as a young boy. My team mates were right behind me.
“I threw my medal for runn- er-up in the bin when I didn’t play years ago.
“My wife has been very understanding. She has to be.
“My colleagues at work thought I was crazy, espec-ially the women with child-ren themselves. They said they wouldn’t let their part-ners get away with this.”
Ian’s team, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s ‘B’ Team, faces Soccer Seven on Friday, at Ewood Park.
The match will kick off at 6.30pm.
The Orphanage Cup began in 1952 and involves businesses, and local organisations, from across the Blackburn area.
Money raised goes to Child Action Northwest.