They might not be on the family fruit and veg stall at Doncaster market this weekend, but Alex Cairns’ parents will still be cheering for Fleetwood Town from their deckchairs.
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The Town keeper’s mum and dad, Helen and Les, have just gone on holiday and so will not be watching their son face his hometown club at the Keepmoat tomorrow.
And Cairns, 25, thanked his family for everything they have done as he bids to help Town end a five-match winless run at Doncaster.
He said: “My mum and dad are away, and I’m kind of glad because they work on the Doncaster markets and get loads of abuse leading up to the game.
“‘My mum is a nervous wreck with it all and I said, ‘Go enjoy some time away’.
“It was my mum who surprised my dad with the holiday because at this time of year the markets do not do so well.
“I said, ‘Go enjoy yourself in the sun and give me a ring after the game’. I will see them on Tuesday.
“My family are everything to me. I thank them for everything they have done for me because they have given me the best step in life. I can’t thank them enough.”
And it is from the market stalls that Cairns’ friendship with Town’s Leeds loanee Lewie Coyle stems.
Coyle’s dad Chris also runs a fruit and veg stall, in Hull, and Cairns says the two players made the connection while at Elland Road.
He said: “It is so random that when we were at Leeds my dad and his dad were on the sideline saying, ‘Hey, what are you doing here?’ They know each other from the wholesale markets.
“It is weird but it has brought me and Lewie together.”
Cairns says his whole clan will be Town fans this weekend. “I’m from Doncaster, so it will be nice to see a few friendly faces but we will be going there to get three points. It will be nice to go back but we go there with a job to do,” he said.
“A lot of my family have always followed Doncaster, though I would not call them fans.
“My dad has always checked for the Doncaster results and let me know how they are getting on.
“It is our home town and we want them to do well... but not this weekend!”