A professional footballer had a unique reason for missing his team’s League One fixture on Saturday afternoon: his girlfriend was giving birth.
Simon Francis, who plays for Charlton Athletic, was on the team bus travelling to their away fixture at Plymouth Argyle when his girlfriend rang to inform him that she had gone into labour.
“Simon’s girlfriend went into labour yesterday, so on the way down he came to the front of the coach and said he’d just had the phone call. We pulled over at Andover station and he got a train back,” Charlton manager Phil Parkinson told the club’s website.
“It was a race against time for him to get back for the birth of his little girl, but fortunately he made it back in time, which we are obviously all very pleased with.
“As much as football is important, nothing is more important than your family, especially when you have the birth of your first child. He managed to get back for the birth so we give him and his girlfriend our congratulations,” said Phil.