The Boleyn Ground has seen many memorable moments throughout the years. But for one family in particular, it will always hold a special place for very different reasons as Ian Reardon explains...
Robbi “Bish” Reardon was the mascot for the Aldershot FA Cup third round game back in January 1991. Robbi had a brain tumour and I applied for him to be a match day mascot.
I had lived in Aldershot for a while as my father was in the Army and it was quite a coincidence that my son was named as the Mascot.
Tony Gale played a blinder that day looking after Robbi out on the pitch passing the ball back and forth with him. Tony didn’t realise how heavy Robbi was and he nearly dropped him when posing for photographs with the referee and linesmen!
The ref also put an arm out to help support Robbi. Martin Allen was injured for the game and we sat near him and he asked about Robbi and offered to take the album into the dressing room at half time to make sure everyone signed it.
We thought that was it and we enjoyed the day, but there was more to come as Robbi was invited back for the replay.
We were walking toward the Boleyn Ground and a group of supporters turned around and said that’s him on the program and to our surprise there was Robbi posing with Tony Gale.
It’s to my understanding that Robbi was the first non player to appear on the program. We were met by the Commercial Manager who said we were going to be filmed and that we had seats in the Directors Box.
We were taken down to the tunnel just before half-time and were there in time to see Ian Bishop score. Robbi did his best to run onto the pitch to celebrate with his favourite player.
We were taken to the centre circle to be presented with gifts and a framed program with signatures of bot sets of players. We then attended a hospitality suite where we had photos taken and Ian Bishop demanded to hold Robbi who by this time had a soaking wet nappy.
Despite that information Bish held him and posed for the picture.
Sadly Robbi passed away on the March 25, 1991 just a few months after being mascot.
Tony Gale and Ian Bishop attended the funeral and Tony said that Billy (Bonds) would have sent the whole team, but they were up north for the Oldham game. A number of staff also attended the funeral.
Those two days will live in my heart and that of his brothers and sisters and my ex-wife Gina forever.