20 November 2009 ~ I've noticed that no WSC Howl reader has yet confessed to meeting a footballer while being a team mascot. December 12, 1993, was my big day as I led Sunderland out in a televised game at Blundell Park. Assuming for some reason that on reaching the pitch I would turn right, I found myself haring towards the Grimsby penalty area surrounded by an unfamiliar team. Realising my mistake, I quickly turned full-circle. To my good fortune this scene was only broadcast by the more technologically advanced Yorkshire TV (who had cameras on top of the Findus Stand) and not in the pictures shown by Tyne Tees which all my friends were watching at home. I was then forced to shake hands with Mr Blobby and accidentally, but comprehensively, lobbed Alec Chamberlain in the warm-up. I was on the pitch longer than the match itself, which was abandoned due to waterlogging after seven minutes.
My pre-match excitement was somewhat ruined by my mild-mannered father's clear discomfort as he was caught in an aggressive gimlet glare from Grimsby striker (and Sunderland fan) Clive Mendonca. As Mendonca's family come from a tough area of Sunderland I have since wondered if there had been a case of mistaken identity. To compound our sense of grievance he went on to score a hat-trick against Sunderland in the 1998 play-off final. As he celebrated his third goal, and Charlton's fourth, Mendonca ran as close to us as the Wembley pitch would allow. I turned round to commiserate with my dad but the poor man was almost under his chair, the scare of five years earlier still fresh in his mind. Sent in by Ed Upright, taken from the WSC Weekly Howl