As featured in our matchday programme earlier this season, we speak to Stephen Gaffney, who had attended 600 home games in succession going into this campaign.
The die-hard Iron fan of over two decades was taken to his first match by his father (with permission from his mum) on 17th December 1996, where Scunthorpe United lost 3-2 to Wrexham in extra time in an FA Cup replay at home. Despite the result, he’s never looked back, backing the boys year on year ever since.
What’s your favourite ever Iron game?
SG: Millwall at Wembley. The fact that we were losing but managed to turn it around to earn promotion to the Championship, what a way to end a great season.
What’s your matchday routine before kick off?
SG: I don’t have one if I’m honest, I go with my brother and we get to the stadium at about 2ish to read the programme and grab some food whilst we’re at the ground.
Which stand do you sit in?
SG: I actually stand in the Britcon.
Where’s the furthest you’ve travelled to watch the Iron play?
SG: That would be Exeter City in 2014. It was definitely a long trip down and we lost 2-0, but we didn’t care because it was the last game of the season and we secured promotion back to League One!
Favourite away ground and why?
SG: I’d be cheating if I said Wembley again, so I’m going to go with Stamford Bridge, that was my first proper Premier League ground. We took the lead early on but it finished up 3-1 to Chelsea. I remember walking in thinking ‘this is massive’, it was a great occasion.
Do you collect Iron programmes?
SG: Not anymore. I started collecting from ’97 onwards for at least a decade but sadly they just took up too much room so we were forced to offload them.
What’s been your favourite Iron kit?
SG: One that sticks in the memory is the bright yellow away kit of 2004-2005 without question. I was only young then but that certainly appealed to me.
Whose name and numbers have you had on the back of your shirt?
SG: My preference is to have my own name on the back, anything can happen in football, I’ve never wanted to be left heartbroken by a player leaving.
Do you have a favourite ever Iron player?
SG: There’s quite a lot to be fair, the main one though is Peter Beagrie, he dropped down from the Premier League to us, he was amazing to watch on the wing. Some of my more recent favourite players are Paul Hayes, Gary Hooper, Billy Sharp, Andy Keogh and Joe Murphy, the list is a long one!
Have you ever met any Iron players, past or present?
SG: I met quite a few when I was mascot in the 1998-99 season when we got promoted to Division 2, such as Brian Laws, Jamie Forrester and John Gayle.
If you could relive any game in Iron history, what would it be?
SG: When we beat Swansea City after extra-time in the 1999 play-off semi-finals second leg, the atmosphere was amazing that night. We scored a late goal to seal the win and everyone was on the pitch at the end.
Stephen Gaffney’s firsts...
- My first home game was… Iron 2-3 Wrexham (FA Cup replay, 1996)
- My first away game was… A local one, either Grimsby, Hull or Doncaster
- My first Iron shirt was… the 2000-2001 home shirt
- My first Iron hero was… Jamie Forrester, he scored loads of goals, which I naturally loved as a kid
- My craziest game was… Iron 7-1 Darlington, the latter finished with 8 men.