Aberdeen FC’s free membership scheme for under-12s has had its two youngest sign-ups to date.
Olivia Cantlay was just 10 minutes old when dad Matthew signed her up to AberDNA Junior, while Chloe Colville was 13 minutes old when father Chris sorted out her membership.
Ellon-based St Fergus gas terminal worker Matthew said: “Before Olivia was born, I’d filled in the form and saved it.
“As soon as she was born, I clicked send. The name to start with was ‘to be confirmed’.
“I’m 31 and I’ve always followed Aberdeen and think it’s important to get the next generation to follow them.”
Matthew hopes he and partner Nicola can take Olivia and her two-year-old sister Sophia to Pittodrie soon, once Covid restrictions are eased and allow it.
Each member of AberDNA Junior will be invited to Pittodrie to ceremonially “sign for the Dons” when it is safe to do so, in addition to being able to enjoy two matches – when full crowds return – at Pittodrie as part of their membership.
Junior members are also issued a welcome pack which includes a limited-edition collectable card featuring goalkeeper and club captain Joe Lewis. A second limited edition collectible card, featuring Ross McCrorie, has also been made available from the club shop.
Meanwhile, Westhill-based Chris, 35 – a tax manager with Deloitte – said he was also keen for his newborn, Chloe, to follow in his Dons daft footsteps.
“I’ve been a season ticket-holder since I was four – the summer just after Brian Irvine’s Scottish Cup-winning penalty against Celtic,” Chris said.
“I’ve had a season ticket right through. I even had one for the 10 years I lived in Edinburgh and went to all the away games when I was down that way as well.
“It’s through the family – My mum took me, my granda took her. It’s through the generations and I just want to keep that up.”
Chloe is Chris and partner Sarah’s second child. They also have a six-year-old son named Jamie.
Chris added: “My son’s first season ticket was only 10 seats away from where I had my first in the Merkland Stand.
“Jamie was born in September and his first game was Russell Anderson’s last, so he would’ve been about eight months. So – rules permitting – Chloe won’t have long to wait.”
What is AberDNA Junior?
Launched in March of this year, and supported by the Evening Express and Press and Journal, AberDNA Junior, which aims to build the next generation of Aberdeen supporters, now has more than 6,500 members from all corners of the globe.
The Dons, and the Evening Express and Press and Journal, are working together to promote the scheme, with a view to reaching more than 40,000 primary pupils in Aberdeen City and Shire and signing up 15,000 by August 2021.
To get involved sign up at afc.co.uk/aberdna/junior or phone 01224 63 1903.