#FanDayFriday The Premier League is back!

A few days late again, but another very busy few days, means that my #FanDayFriday post is once again coming to you on Sunday. This week, as a football fan, there really could be only one topic, and that would have to be the opening weekend of the Premiership. Football is back!

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I have been a footie fan since I was a little girl, my family are all die hard West Bromwich Albion fans, and frankly it was an unspoken rule the you has to be football mad. I’ve since loved my team through good and bad, including the terrible days of Bobby Gould when we were relegated to the old third division. Now we are a fully fledged Premier League club, and I have my own little Baggie fan, with Joe just as committed to West Brom as the rest of the family. He is also a Junior Baggie star, being chosen to take part in a special Christmas message video that West Bromwich Albion created last Christmas.

Kidderminster Harriers Pre Season Friendly

Kidderminster Harriers Pre Season Friendly

Family gathering at home to Spurs

Family gathering at home to Spurs

On Match of the Day with the hubby

On Match of the Day with the hubby

In the fan zone

In the fan zone

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Next week, Joe has been chosen to be a mascot for the first home match of the season, and will walk out with the team when they play Everton. I couldn’t be prouder – he has been chosen for his dedication, commitment and hard work whilst attending Football Camps, and it really is a great honour. He is super excited, and next week promises to be a really special occasion for the whole family.

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pink faces from the cold, still loving every minute.

My heart lies with WBA, but I also follow the Gunners and look for their results. My grandad was billeted at Woolwich Arsenal during World War 2, so always had a special place in his heart for Arsenal. Of course, the fact that I am totally besotted and not a little obsessed with Olivier Giroud is another reason to watch. Football is all about the passion, the atmosphere, the joy of singing and shouting for your team at the top of your voice, but that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the hot men playing the game!

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Next Saturday I’ll be the proudest mom around, watching my boy walking onto the pitch and enjoying his moment, and will then shout myself hoarse hoping Rondon adds to his goal tally.

The Premier League, there really is nothing like it.

This week I am linking up with Lee-Anne from wotshernameagain  You can check out her #FanDayFriday post here.

A Christmas Gift From WBA

2015 will be forever remembered as the year Joe Luca discovered football. All previous hobbies and interests took a back seat as the little man put on his football boots and never looked back. His love for his team, West Bromwich Albion has no bounds, he literally lives, eats (Match of the Day repeats with his breakfast anyone?) and sleeps – in a West Brom duvet of course – football. And, as well as loving his team with a unbridled passion that borders on obsession, he also likes to play a little…

Joe has spent the year working with coaches from The Albion Foundation, a brilliant organisation that works in conjunction with West Bromwich Albion to provide sporting and educational activities in schools and the community. These sporting activities and opportunities are for both children and adults, able-bodied and with disabilities.  Joe has been attending two different, weekly coaching sessions with the Foundation, working with lots of different coaches, to develop his football skills, his confidence and his social skills.  He loves the sessions, they are great fun and always have the element of positivity that makes the learning a happy time. And Joe has thrived during this time – he has made great friends, won numerous Star of the Week awards and has been invited to take part in a special match when he played for the Albion Foundation against teams from Shire Oak, and scored a screamer from the half way line.  It has been one hell of a year for a little boy!

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And then, last month, West Bromwich Albion and The Albion Foundation proved that sometimes, dreams really can come true. Joe was invited to take part in what he thought was a photograph session with The Albion Foundation. In actual fact, Joe was about to meet his heroes, the West Bromwich Albion team, and was going to be a star of the 2015 Annual Christmas message. He had the most unbelievable day , with the Squad serving up Christmas Dinner to the astonished boys, and then manager Tony Pulis telling them to get themselves ready to train with the team. As a parent, it was wonderful to witness Joe having a day he will never forget.

The video was released last week and has now had more than 53K hits on the West Brom Facebook page. Set to the tale of ‘Twas the Night before Christmas’,  it is just lovely, very sweet, very magical and totally ‘Christmas’. It made the front page of local newspapers, and was then shown on the big screen during the West Brom V. AFCB match on Saturday, causing my dad to tell everyone in the seats around his – ‘that’s my grandson – the one who usually sits here…he’s gone to see Star Wars today!)

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This post is a thank you to all at West Bromwich Albion for making a little boy’s Christmas, showing him that hard work and perseverance does have its rewards, and that dreams really can come true.  I just want to add a special thanks to the coaches who have helped Joe so much this year from The Albion Foundation – Merry Christmas to all!

Perfect Gifts for Footie Fans from Personalised Gift Solutions

I’ve been writing quite a bit about the perfect gifts for dad’s for this upcoming Father’s Day. I’ve looked at photographic books and experience gift packages, and now I’m moving on to ideas for dad’s that also happen to be major football fans. If you’re dad is football crazy, you could create a gift idea that would suit him just down to the ground with Personalised Gift Solutions.

Personalised Gift Solutions are a small family company from Southampton who decided to take some of the work out of finding presents.  They  have created a wonderful blend of unique gifts that are also totally personal. The jewel in the crown in the Personalised Gift Solution range is Mybestmatchever.com, a range of gifts that are inspired by those football matches that linger long in the memory – the FA cup wins, the miraculous comebacks, the giant killings – all these are celebrated in a range of mugs, t-shirts, mobile phone cases, hoodies and sweatshirts. There are products available for all the Premiership teams, along with selected Championship, International and Scottish teams.

A Personalised Custom Football T-Shirt - My Best Match Ever - Your match here... £14.95 click to visit Personalised Gift Solutions

A Personalised Custom Football T-Shirt – My Best Match Ever – Your match here… £14.95 click to visit Personalised Gift Solutions

My dad is a lifelong, season ticket holder at West Bromwich Albion and loves anything football related, especially if it is also related to the Baggies.  I loved the idea of gifting him one of the ‘My Best Match’ t-shirts, and was spoiled for choice with the matches available. Did I go for the 1970s classic 3-5 win at Old Trafford? Or how about the stunning last match of Alex Ferguson’s managerial career – the 5-5 at The Hawthorns? Both were amazing, memorable matches, but winning the FA Cup would be hard to top, so I went for the 1-0 win against Everton in the 1968 FA Cup final, all the more special as I know my 14 year old dad was there that day. (Astle is king – fact!)

Personalised WBA Football T-Shirt - My Best Match Ever WBA003 - WBA 1-0 Everton £14.95 click to visit Personalised Gift Solutions

Personalised WBA Football T-Shirt – My Best Match Ever WBA003 – WBA 1-0 Everton
£14.95 click to visit Personalised Gift Solutions

This is a great present, the details of the match are emblazoned on a ‘wonky scoreboard’ and the t-shirt itself is white, crisp cotton that is already 100% preshrunk so it won’t shrink again in the wash. It has a stark, minimalist feel – perfect for my dad who thinks a small pattern is ‘going a bit too far’, and I know that this is something that will both please him, and something that he will actually wear – a total result if you pardon the pun.

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All orders for Fathers Day that are place on or before June 15th are guaranteed to be dispatched in time. If you want to order after this date, you can email CustomerCare@PersonalisedGiftSolutions.co.uk for help and advice.

*I was sent a t-shirt for the purpose of writing a review.