AIR travel chaos was not about to stop a junior footballer appearing in his club’s big end-of-season game.

Tom Gledhill was on holiday with his parents Andrew and Joanne in Barcelona last week when they heard flights home were grounded.

The 17-year-old, of Brook Lane in Golcar, was desperate to get back for Sunday’s clash between his side, Clifton Rangers, and Rothwell in the RCD League under-17s final.

So his dad hatched a plan to make the 1,000-mile trip over land.

Andrew, 43, said: "We looked into getting trains and buses, hiring a car and even buying a car then selling it when we got back.

"Eventually I hired a minibus and two drivers at a cost of 4,000 euros to get us to Caen, so we could get a ferry to Portsmouth."

The family rounded up a group of 17 people at Barcelona Airport who wanted to share the minibus.

They eventually arrived back on UK soil at 9.15pm on Saturday night.

Greenhead College student Tom only got to bed at 4.30am on Sunday morning, but after a couple of hours’ sleep was up to play in central midfield for Clifton.

His team lost 2-1 after extra time.

But Andrew said he had no regrets.

"I promised Tom we’d do everything we could to get him back," he said. "These kinds of opportunities don’t come along every day."