Aasma’s relationship with football has been a game of two halves.
When I was younger, my overriding ambition was to marry pop and Neighbours star Jason Donovan.
It never happened – so I had to make do with Hubby instead.
The closest I came to my dream of sailing off into the sunset with Jason was when I got the chance to interview him a few years ago.
And yes, I did feel myself getting rather giddy and starstruck as I imagined what the 12-year-old me would have thought at the prospect of one day actually getting the chance of speaking to my idol.
Hubby’s goals when he was growing up were somewhat different to mine – and had a bit more to do with actual goals.
Apparently, Hubby has always dreamed of watching Preston North End play Manchester United at Deepdale.
The last time this happened must have been AGES ago as it was in 1972 – the year before even Hubby was born.
Hubby has long lamented how he has seen North End play against all the big teams including Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea – but never Manchester United.
However, it looks like Hubs will finally achieve his dream as PNE did the unthinkable and didn’t mess up the crucial game against Sheffield United.
If I thought Keith was overjoyed at the result, I couldn’t have predicted how happy our nine-year-old football obsessed son Cameron would be.
He is practically sick with excitement and keeps babbling about the forthcoming match, singing chants along the lines of: “United, United, here we come!” I didn’t have the heart to correct him by saying it was actually United doing the coming rather than the other way round.
While I am no diehard football fan, I must admit I have got caught up in the excitement gripping Preston fans.
Growing up, football was the furthermost thing in my mind and I had zero interest in the game.
I don’t know if it was just the girls I knew or the fact that women living in the South just aren’t as into footy as Northern girls, but when I lived in Hertfordshire, no girls I knew displayed any interest in the beautiful game.
However, during the 1990 World Cup (you know, the one where Gazza cried), I did show fleeting interest, joining my peers in scrawling ‘I love Gary Lineker’ and ‘I love Gazza’ on my pencil case (yes, I really am THAT old). However, I think that was more an interest in footballers than football itself.
So it was a bit of a shock to the system when I first arrived in Preston for university to find the majority of the girls in my halls of residence were massively into football.
Amused by my total lack of knowledge about football, some of my friends dragged me down to the pub to watch a Newcastle game, determined to show me how much fun footy could be.
After 40 minutes of the game had passed, one friend turned to me and asked: “So are you enjoying it then?”
I told her that it was OK, but I had one question. “Which ones are Newcastle?” Turns out they were the ones that looked like humbugs in their black and white stripy kit.
When Hubby and I first started dating and it emerged he was a big PNE fan, when I told him I knew nothing about football and had never been to a match, he decided to “educate” me.
My first football match was watching Preston North End reserves play some team or other at Deepdale.
Being a season ticket holder, Keith got to watch the reserve team for free, so took me along (he really knows how to show a girl a good time).
Patiently, he explained the intricacies of the game and I begrudgingly admitted that watching live football was actually quite enjoyable, if a little chilly.
After that, I reached the heady heights of watching the Preston North End first team and I even became a regular at Deepdale and at one point, I knew all the players’ names.
Everyone now and again, I would spot Hubby cringing during a match when he heard me yell: “Oh, look, they’re doing a swapsie!” every time there was a substitution.
Nowadays, my football watching is reserved for watching our lad who plays for a team – and let me tell you, the thrill of that is better than watching any Premiership side.
Hubby, our son and our daughter are all Preston North End supporters and are season ticket holders, while I am just content with going to the odd game.
I am not ashamed to admit that the Preston vs Manchester United game is one of the odd games I would definitely like to go to.
Glory supporter? Who me? Absolutely!
I’m sure I’m not the only one and all the so-called “PNE fans” are sure to come crawling out of the woodwork desperate to get their hands on a ticket.
It won’t be the first time a breed of glory supporters is created.
After all, until they started doing well, I’d never met a Manchester City fan – but now you’re always tripping over one.