Football fan and Mirfield games shop boss Paul Kerfoot believes Huddersfield Town chairman Dean Hoyle is making memories for life.
Since Town won promotion in dramatic style at Wembley in May, Dean has made sure as many people as possible have got their hands on the Championship play-off final trophy.
Dean, cycling past Paul’s Emag toys and games shop in Nettleton Road, spotted the shutters painted in Town’s blue and white stripes.
Little did he realise at the time that the hobby shop was run by Paul who had attended an away game at Blackburn Rovers with him in late 1984.
By chance Paul’s friend and neighbour Darren Parkinson went to White Lee Secondary School in Heckmondwike with Dean and invited Paul to the game.
“Oily (Dean’s nickname) had just passed his driving test and was proud owner of a second-hand red Ford Popular,” recalled Darren.
Dean re-introduced himself some 33 years later – and surprised Paul by dropping off the play-off trophy at his shop for over half an hour.
Dad-of-two Paul, 51, was speechless. And the word soon got round via phone calls and on social media that the trophy was at Emag.
In no time there was a small gathering of eager fans of all ages at Paul’s shop asking for a photo or a selfie with the gleaming cup.
One of those who came down with his dad was seven-year-old Oliver Hartley who really stood out for Paul.
“Oliver was just gobsmacked by it all and couldn’t believe he got to lift the cup, and what a great photo!” said Paul. “What Dean is doing is creating memories for life – what a star, what a chairman and what a legacy.”
Paul next made sure Oliver got a set of framed pictures for his bedroom wall ensuring this was one experience that will stay with him for the rest of his life.
Oliver said: “It was the very, very best time! Dean Hoyle is the best! I loved it!”
Games guru and Subbuteo table soccer fan Paul is also a creative motivational speaker, and recently shared this story at the Mirfield Arts Festival. Accompanied by his artist’s easel and a huge picture of Oliver holding the silverware, over 200 people heard about Dean and Town’s historic promotion.
“What Dean has done is amazing,” said Paul. “Sharing the glory with the fans and local community has meant it’s now part of a local story that will live forever with people like Oliver.”
And after collecting the trophy from Emag Dean also bought a vintage version of his favourite football game – Super Striker.