A HARTLEPOOL United fan won’t need to queue for a ticket for next month’s FA Cup clash with Blyth Spartans - as he will be in goal for the visitors.
Peter Jeffries grew up in Hartlepool, going to Dyke House School and having a season ticket in the Millhouse Stand along with his dad Ian and brothers Richard and Liam to cheer on his heroes.
But his loyalties will be put to one side next month when he takes his place between the sticks for the non-league side as they look to cause an FA Cup upset in front of the TV cameras.
Peter, 27, who lives in Billingham with wife Toni - assistant manager of town pub The Travellers Rest - and youngsters Amy, six, and three-year-old Harry, said: “This was the draw I wanted. I thought we may have got it in the first round, but the second round will do me.
“I couldn’t believe it when the ball came out of the hat. My phone has been non-stop since the draw was made, everybody wants a ticket.
“I think my brothers will be in the Blyth end, but my dad will be in his usual spot in the Millhouse.
“I’m really looking forward to the game, I’ve never played at Pools before so it will be extra special.
“The fact it’s live on the telly is good as well, there may be a few nerves, but I guess we will have to try and put that to the back of our minds once we kick off.”
Peter, who has also turned out for Spennymoor and Bishop Auckland, still keeps an eye on Pools’ results despite playing for Blyth.
And he is confident that the Northumberland minnows could cause an upset.
“It will seem strange wanting Pools to get beat,” added Peter, who works as a scaffolder at Seal Sands.
“All the way through my teens I had a season ticket, I remember watching Richie Humphreys, Mark Tinkler, Chris Westwood, that sort of era.
“I went to Cardiff, and I was there at Sunderland when we played them in the cup a few seasons back.
“When I started playing on a Saturday I gave the season ticket up, but my family still go and I get along when I can.
“Obviously for this game, I want us to beat them though and I think we have a decent chance.
“We have played a few games in the FA Cup already to get this far, and it’s good to be in the second round.
“A place in the third round, where the Premiership teams come in, would be unbelievable.
“It’s only five years ago I was playing for the Travs on a Sunday morning in Hartlepool, now there’s a chance I could end up playing at a Premier League ground.
“It’s mad really, but we won’t get carried away.
“I think we’ve got every chance, and the longer we stay in the game the more nervy Pools will get.”