A HARTLEPOOL United fan who emigrated more than 5,000 miles away was in town to see his beloved team play a home game for the first time since he upped sticks 14 years ago.
And despite yesterday’s 0-0 draw against Brentford, Trevor Mason – who is such a die-hard fan of the team he named his home in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, “Victoria Park” in homage to the team – says it was great to be back.
The 40-year-old, who was at the game with his dad Brian, 76, said he hopes for a better result this Saturday, when Pools play Chesterfield.
“It’s got to be a win on Saturday – I’ve come all this way and need to see a goal,” he said.
Trevor, who hopes his American wife Lucinda, 38, will join him at the next game, added: “It was good to go back after not seeing them for so long.
“But I can see why they are not scoring goals – if I was manager I would get a couple of good wingers, they didn’t have anyone to take a man on and get that ball in the box.
“Ultimately we have got a strong defence but we are definitely missing a good winger.”
Trevor moved to the USA in 1998 after falling in love with the States having spent three summers as a counsellor at a summer camp in New York.
Apart from attending a Hartlepool match at Sunderland in the FA Cup in 2004, Trevor has never seen his beloved team play since he left.
He said it had been good to see improvements at Victoria Park and that he was impressed that there was a decent crowd of more than 4,200 yesterday.
Even when he is back at home, Trevor, an electrician for the Bigelow Tea Company, keeps up with Pools’ progress by watching games online and his dad types up match reports for him.
But he said: “You can’t beat actually being there.
“It was a good atmosphere.
“It’s a long time since I heard the shouting between the two sides of fans – you don’t get that on the internet, it’s a whole different experience.”
Trevor, who has also brought his two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Kendall to England, said as well as missing Pools games, he also missed Cadbury’s chocolate and his family, including uncles and fellow Hartlepool United fans David and Alan Mason.
Trevor, a former Brougham, Jesmond Road and High Tunstall school pupil, whose other daughters, Charlotte, 14, and Emma, 12 – also Pools fans – are back home, is staying in Yarm with his parents, Brian and Dorothy, and plans to take his wife, a children’s librarian, to Edinburgh during the rest of his stay.
l Meanwhile, another familiar face was back at The Vic yesterday.
Iron Maiden guitarist Janick Gers was amongst the crowd to see his hometown team in their draw with Brentford.