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Football family unites

A football mad family who watch their team together every fortnight say life at home is rosy thanks to the beautiful game.

Three generations of the Mason, Harman and Hills family, aged from 64 to just four, slip on their Charlton Athletic shirts and scarves every other week before heading off to watch their beloved team in action.

With up to eight of them making the trip to The Valley each time, the group is almost large enough to form its own football team.

Lee Harman, 37, of Powell Avenue, Dartford, is a season ticket holder along with children Chloe, nine, and Brooke, six. Mr Harman’s brother-in-law, Mark Mason, 35, from West Kingsdown, is also a regular at the turnstiles, along with wife Louise, 31, and their son Taylor, aged four. One of the children’s grandfathers, Trevor Hills, 54, has been going to Charlton games since 1967, while their other grandfather, Tony Harman, 64, is also an avid fan.

Their team may be languishing at the foot of the Coca-Cola Football League Championship, but more important than the results on the pitch, the family says, is the bond each outing strengthens between them.

Mr Hills said: “Going to football together has definitely made us a stronger family group. I have a closer relationship with my daughter, sons-in law and grandchildren because of the time we spend at The Valley.

“I think I see a lot more of my grandchildren than other grandparents I know. Spending four hours with my them every other Saturday gives me a great chance to catch up with them and learn a lot more about their lives.”

The group’s togetherness comes at a price - adult season tickets at Charlton cost about £450, while passes for under-16s come in at £99. But according to Mr Hills it’s a small price to pay. The parents in the group even use games as a way of explaining some of life’s lessons to their children.

Mr Hills said: “Lee often likens pitch goings-on to playground incidents. He’s always keen to point out to Chloe when players shake hands and walk away from a clash.”

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