WHEN Samantha Cole goes back to New Zealand on Tuesday, she’ll be taking some Fratton Park memories with her.
She has been picked as one of the recipients of this week’s free Pompey tickets, being given away by The News in association with the Pompey’s 12th man Pay4APompeyPal scheme.
Samantha has not lived at her Waterlooville home for a decade, and now lives in Auckland. However, she has come back to visit her sister Nadeine Garland, in time for the birth of her son, Alfie.
She is so passionate about Pompey that her home in New Zealand has a Pompey sign in the window, her car is adorned with the club’s logo, and when she watched her team walk onto the pitch on TV, when they played in the Premier League, she cried.
Samantha has even extended her holiday by two days to be able to go to Fratton Park.
‘I couldn’t believe I cried,’ she said. ‘I don’t know what I’ll be like on Saturday seeing them.
‘I’m going to take my friend Tina Ferry, who is from London originally and who’s over with me from New Zealand. She’s a West Ham fan but I’ll be trying to convert her to Pompey.
‘I can’t wait to see them. We are the loudest fans in the world, I think, and it’s not the same seeing it on television.’
In the second of our home-game giveaways, we have invited young Lucy Fairall, of Stubbington, to be a Pompey mascot for the game against Chesterfield.
She was born with hearing difficulty, and in the first four years of her life had grommets put in her ears, her tonsils taken out, and the adenoids in the back of her throat.
She will be celebrating her seventh birthday in September, so mum Charlotte and dad Gareth nominated her to be a mascot.
Gareth said: ‘She had a lot of hospital appointments and with her hearing problems she would shout a lot.
‘She was also lipreading.
‘She struggled to breathe properly as well.
‘We think she’s had her first share of hospital visits and problems already.’
To nominate someone for a free match ticket, or to be a mascot for the day, send an email with your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org.