BILLY Kee is prepared to miss the birth of his first child to play for Burton Albion at Wembley – if they reach the League Two play-off final.
The 23-year-old striker and wife, Leigh, are expecting a baby boy on May 22 – just four days before the final and on the day of Leigh’s 23rd birthday.
If his son has not made an appearance, Kee will still be at Wembley if Albion are there.
“We’ve already talked about it and I’m going to play in the final and hopefully it hasn’t come by then and I’ll shoot off after,” said the Brewers’ top scorer.
“It’s not the same date – but they say it always comes late and the due date is the 22nd.
“It could be tight.”
Mrs Kee, nee Lennon, could be forgiven for being irked at the absence of her husband for the birth, but her background as one of the country’s best junior athletes means she understands her husband’s desire to experience a highlight of any footballer’s career.
“My missus was a sportswoman – she was a runner and understands,” he said. “She was an 800m runner and ran for under-23s GB and if you look at her times back in the day, she was very good.
“As long as she’s got her family there, her mum, my mum, I’m sure I’ll get away with it.”
The important question here is who is the quicker runner in the Kee household.
“Leigh’s a lot quicker, we’ll move on from that,” joked Kee. “Hopefully he’ll take after her and be more athletic than me!”
Before Kee’s dilemma becomes a reality is the matter of two play-off semi-final matches against Southend, starting with the home leg at the Pirelli Stadium tomorrow, kick-off noon.
“We’ve got to worry about these next two games, though, before we think about anything else,” said the star striker.
“We’ve lost twice this season to them.
“Honestly, the one we got turned over here was my fault. I got sent off and hold my hands up for that one.
“We’ve got to really believe in these games.
“I think the lads believe from Saturday’s game as well (1-0 defeat at Southend) that we can go and get something.
“Even though we lost the lads came back with good feedback that we can beat these.
“I’m excited – it’s not often you get to be on TV.
“I’m hoping we can get through week one with a great result and take it on to them in week two.”
Should Albion get through the semi-finals, Kee says an appearance at Wembley would be the highlight of his career to date.
“To me it’d be the biggest achievement of my career so far,” said the fans’ favourite.
“Being on the bench for the Northern Ireland side was a great experience. I know there were only 15-20,000 there at the time, but the experience with Windsor Park rocking was really good.
“I’ve been at Old Trafford (2010/11 play-off final), but that isn’t the same as a play-off final at Wembley.
“The whole day seemed a mix-up to me. You played the whole season and then got told a month or two before it was going to be played at Old Trafford and not Wembley.”