THERE was no prouder dad at the Galpharm Stadium last Saturday than Ian Booth.
But the Town legend’s No1 fan still recalls how close his son came to leaving his home town to pursue his footballing ambitions.
“Andrew was a late developer in relation to most of his contemporaries at Town,” explained the man who along with wife Barbara (the couple also have a daughter Jeanette) has seen the majority of Booth’s 609 appearances for Town, Sheffield Wednesday and Tottenham.
“He had trials at a number of other clubs, and I remember Scarborough and Doncaster both being especially keen before Town stepped in.”
Ian was an enthusiastic footballer who played up front for Ossett Town, but says his only real contribution to his son’s development was to teach him to use his left as well as right foot.
“I drummed that into him from an early age, and in the early days of his career, most of his goals came from shots.
“He’s noted more for his aerial power now, and I don’t know where that ability to jump so high and almost hang in the air has come from.”
Ian has fond memories of many of his son’s 183 goals, but also recalls the managers he has played under.
“We’ve met some great people, like Eoin Hand, who was very helpful in the early days, Ian Ross and Peter Jackson,” he added.
“Then, at Sheffield, both David Pleat and Peter Shreeves were proper football people as well.”
Ian is also delighted that his son will remain a Town employee.
“It’s a different challenge, but he’s a personable bloke who enjoys meeting people and chatting to them and he’s Town through and through.
“I think that will be a useful asset in his new job and it would be great if he can get as much enjoyment out of it as he has from playing.”