By Daniel Prince
A very special guest is set to cheer on South Shields when they face Hebburn Town in Saturday’s South Tyneside derby at Peterlee.
Nine-year-old Solomon Dixon and his family will be present at tomorrow’s game as guests of the club.
Solomon is the team’s mascot for the match against Hebburn, having made a long journey to be here.
He was born in South Shields, but emigrated with his family to Australia at the age of three months.
The Dixons live in Ipswich, Queensland, but still have family based in Sunderland and the Midlands, and are on a month-long visit to England.
They then went to visit family in the Midlands, but Solomon, Martin, Henry and grandfather Ian Edmunds will travel back up tomorrow especially for the game.
Solomon has been given a club kit, complete with the name ‘Sol’ and the number 10 on the back of the shirt, and has also been presented with a team photograph, pin badge and signatures from all the players.
The family have been looking forward to the occasion, with Solomon showing a real interest in Shields from afar before making the journey to the UK.
Dad Martin said: “Solomon is passionate about being from South Shields, and enjoys learning about his roots so he can tell all his friends about them.
“He is at that age now when he wants to learn more and more about where he comes from, and we as parents encourage him to keep his English roots.
“He loves football, and has been learning about South Shields FC, so he is very excited that he is going to be the mascot.
“We are very grateful for all the club has done, and it’s going to be a boys’ day out.
“We will be spending about eight hours of the day in the car, but that’s nothing compared to some of the journeys we have in Australia.
“Solomon is particularly excited about receiving the club strip, and he says he is going to be wearing it a lot when he gets back home.
“People will probably presume it is an Aston Villa or West Ham kit because of the colours, so it will certainly be something which sets him apart, and I’m sure all his friends in Australia will be asking questions about South Shields.”
South Shields supporter Bob Scott, who has arranged much of the day for the Dixon family, said: “I received a message from Solomon’s grandfather, in the Midlands, explaining that he wanted to find out more about the club and perhaps attend a game.
“It touched a chord with me, and I wanted to see what more we could do.
“It has been a pleasure to help arrange for him to be mascot for the game against Hebburn, and to present him with things like the strip that he will be able to keep forever.”
Here’s hoping Solomon is a lucky mascot and is able to cheer the lads to victory tomorrow!