Lifelong Hartlepool United fan shares a very special moment with his twin great grandsons

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A lifelong Hartlepool United fan has introduced his great grandsons to the beautiful game just months after their first birthday.

Seaton ticket holder Ronnie Taylor, 89, is pictured proudly holding the identical twins, who are 15 months old, with sporting the club’s blue and white colours.

Rebecca McKinney, Ronnie’s granddaughter, welcomed her sons, Locke and Finn, to the world at just 26 weeks and they initially weighed 2lb each.

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Ronnie, who worked as a miner in Blackhall for 35 years, has held a Hartlepool United season ticket since his 20s and plans to take the twins to a game as soon as they can walk.

Ronnie Taylor, 89, with his two great-grandsons Locke, left, and Finn. right.Ronnie Taylor, 89, with his two great-grandsons Locke, left, and Finn. right.
Ronnie Taylor, 89, with his two great-grandsons Locke, left, and Finn. right.

Over the last 70 years, Ronnie has experienced many of the team’s wins as well as some of their best forgotten losses.

He said: “I’ll say that’s it, I’m not going back next week. Then next week comes and the strip comes out and I’m marching back down there.”

He added: “I just can’t stay away.”

When asked how this season will go, with Pools battling at the wrong end of League Two, Ronnie said: “We have the same problem that a lot of clubs have.

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"We do not get a lot of money to buy players and we could do with a couple more.”

Although Locke and Finn are now smiling in the arms of their great grandfather, their premature birth and the following months were extremely difficult for the family.

Rebecca, also said Blackhall, said: “It was traumatic.”

Locke and Finn spent the first two months of their lives in urgent care when they were born 11 weeks early.

With no spare beds in any North-East hospital and Covid restrictions in force, Rebecca had to deliver her sons at a hospital in Sheffield over 100 miles away from her family and friends.

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Rebecca, who was 32 when she gave birth, said: “It didn’t feel real. When you have a child, you expect to be able to hold them straight away, but I couldn’t.”

Despite their earlier struggles, however, both Locke and Finn seem to be thriving in their very first Poolie shirts and will soon be cheering on their home team with their great grandfather.

Ronnie said: “We’ll be taking over the whole stand before you know it.”