Forget the East End... because Rodney Parade was the only place to be for football fanatic, actor, writer and broadcaster Tom Watt.
Tom, better known as ‘Lofty’ from the popular British soap Eastenders, enjoyed the club’s hospitality experience in the Bisley Lounge during Newport County’s 3-3 draw with Walsall recently.
While he shot to TV fame as one of the original characters in the BBC soap opera in 1985, Tom’s other passion has always been the beautiful game. Growing up in London, Arsenal became his first love before Cheltenham also stole his heart when he moved his family to leafy Gloucestershire.
A season ticket regular behind the goal at Whaddon Road, Tom had to witness the Exiles beating his beloved Robins recently in the EFL Trophy. But it didn’t stop him making his first trip to Rodney Parade for the floodlight clash against Walsall, where this time he was supporting the boys in amber and black.
“I do love a bit of Friday night football,” explained Tom, “especially when it comes with some great hospitality. The chef made me a lovely veggie curry, which went down a treat.
“I had never been to Rodney Parade before, despite the fact I only live up the road in Cheltenham. I have known Jonathan (Wilsher), who became involved at Newport recently, for a long time and I jumped at the chance to come down for a catch up.
“I use my season ticket at Cheltenham a lot more than Arsenal these days. They are my local club, and it’s just such fun in the lower leagues. I go and stand behind the goal ‘effing and blinding’ and enjoy the atmosphere when we score, which doesn’t happen very often at the moment!
“But it just reminds me of what football was like when I was a kid and that’s what I love most about football.”
While Exiles’ fans were disappointed to see Walsall snatch an additional time equaliser, Tom left with a smile on his face after witnessing six goals.
“I’ll definitely be back at Rodney Parade this season,’’ he declared. “I really enjoyed it and will be back with my son Roland next time to see a Newport win.’’
Do you want your matchday experience to be lifted to Lofty levels?
Hospitality is now available for our next two home games against MK Dons (Saturday, Nov 11 ) and Stockport County (Saturday, Nov 25). Email email@example.com for more details click here.