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MP: ‘My reign in Spain ends mainly for this game’

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 21, 2014

Andrew Griffiths and wife Kate

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WHEN Burton’s MP booked a holiday well in advance towards the end of last year, he felt sure it would win him some brownie points with his wife.

But when Andrew Griffiths sealed off the last week of May to spend some time with his other half Kate in Spain, he didn’t consider that it could mean him missing a crucial date with his other love – Burton Albion.

The politician was overjoyed as he watched the Brewers secure only their second visit to Wembley, as he sat with the club’s chairman Ben Robinson at Southend’s Roots Hall home last weekend.

But it was with a tinge of horror that he soon realised the play-off final coincided with his eagerly awaited trip to Marbella – and worse still when it struck him that he would have break the news to Kate.

“I booked the holiday months and months ago,” he said. “I always leave it to the last minute, but I thought I would get it booked in advance this time for my long-suffering wife who rarely gets a holiday. But lo and behold, the Brewers get to Wembley.”

The MP had to think quickly, and decided he would share his time between Kate and the Brewers, flying out to Spain on Saturday before hastily returning – with her pool-side – on an early-morning flight on the day of the match.

“I can’t miss the Brewers, but of course, I’m in the dog house,” he joked.

“Having followed the Brewers’ campaign and having been at Southend on Saturday to witness the amazing victory, I was desperate to be part of the Wembley dream.

“I had the terrible job of breaking it to Kate that I was going to be leaving her and returning on Monday to cheer on the mighty Brewers and as the town’s MP I couldn’t miss it.

“I think all football-supporting husbands would support my decision, though some wives might disagree.”

When Mr Griffiths finally arrives at Wembley on Monday afternoon, doubtless wiping the sweat from his brow after all the travelling, he will able to reflect on a fantastic season for Albion, regardless of the outcome.

He said: “It’s just an incredible achievement and it makes all these people who talk about little old Burton Albion eat their words. It’s not only brilliant for Gary Rowett and the boys, it’s a really fantastic tribute to Ben Robinson for all his years of dedication.

“It’s really astounded me how everybody in the town has got behind the team ahead of their historic day. It is incredible to think the Brewers are just 90 minutes away from the third tier of English football. It really is Roy of the Rovers stuff.”

How easy it will be for Mr Griffiths to drag himself away from the celebrations to return to his wife’s side in Spain if Albion do secure victory, however, is another question.

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