Ronnie Began will be heading home to spend time with his family in Barton, and watch Boro take on Sheffield Wednesday on Boxing Day at the Riverside.

While some fans have a short trip to the Riverside, Ronnie and his family have a 12-hour pilgrimage across from Northern Ireland to spend Christmas with his family before taking up a Boxing Day tradition by watching Tony Pulis’ side in action. 

“We come over on the ferry (from Northern Ireland) at Stranraer and then we head down to Barton to see Grandma and Granddad then we go to the game, we always look forward to it,” he explained.

“The kids finish school on December 19 so on December 20 we get up and make the drive north to the port of Larne and we get the ferry across, get into Stranraer and then we come across on the A75 to Dumfries all the way across singing in the car – all the Christmas songs – and then we get down into Carlisle across the 66 and then into Barton.

“It takes us about 12 hours door-to-door, we need 12 hours with a good run. We tend to leave about six o’clock at home and we plan to be there around six/seven o’clock and get to the other side.”

A decade of supporting Boro from Northern Ireland, matchdays at the Riverside during the festive period for Ronnie and his two daughters Rose and Ruby are a special time when making the trip over the Irish Sea.

And with almost 25,000 tickets already sold for the Boxing Day clash with the Owls, Ronnie says the atmosphere at the Riverside will live up to its ‘special’ billing.

“It’s very special because you have all the supporters there and the atmosphere is great and we wish them really well, they’re doing well at the moment and hopefully they should get a result for that game on December 26,” he said.

“Hopefully we’re going to have a big game and we’re really looking forward to it. We can’t wait!

“The atmosphere is always fantastic and the Boro fans are very passionate, they get wrapped up in a marvellous atmosphere and it’s wonderful. But we’re looking forward to it and we’re driving home for Christmas!”

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