TRCH Nov 19

My First Time... Meeting My Hero

6 November 19 illustrations: Alex Vine

We hear your anonymous stories about the time you came face to face with your childhood hero...

So, it’s 2010 and I am at a tiny festival in West Cork. My main reason for being here is that it’s my birthday and Patti Smith is playing. I love her. I have smuggled in some vodka in a Coke bottle because I’m clearly an animal. Sitting beside an older man, I ask him to mind my illicit bottle of vodka while I nip to my tent. I can’t take it with me because I’ll get searched. He says yes and seems amused. Because I am in no way rude, I offer him some as payment which he declines. I get back and he politely hands it back. He then gets up, and goes on stage as Patti Smiths guitarist. After the gig, she jumps down to come meet us. I ask for a photo and she says no. I’m crushed. I still love her but I do consider it a bit rude! What a legend.

Female, 34
Beeston

 

I was eleven, attending my first ever football game. Derby were still in the Premier League and Arsenal were coming to Pride Park to deliver a crushing footballing lesson. I didn’t care. Just experiencing that intoxicating atmosphere for the first time was enough for me. As my dad and I were leaving the stadium, we spotted a small group of people gathered, and soon realised the entire Arsenal team were signing autographs. My heart nearly exploded as I saw Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and the rest of the team standing just metres away from me. I hustled my way to the front of the crowd, and found myself standing face to face with none other than David Seaman. I instinctively stuck out a hand to shake his and he stretched out his enormous, meaty paw and shook it back. Blown away, I turned to my father and shouted, “Dad! I’ve got Seaman on my hands and I’m never going to wash it off!” In some ways, I was right. 

Male, 31
City Centre

 

During my teenage years, I was an insufferable fan-girl of an alt-rock band called The All-American Rejects, and spent my time obsessively listening to their albums. I saw them perform in California when I was sixteen, and the t-shirt I bought at that show soon became my lucky t-shirt; I passed my driving test in it and wore it to every exam. In 2014, they came to the UK to headline Slam Dunk festival and I met the lead singer. He was nicer than I ever could have imagined. I missed the cut-off point for his meet and greet, so stood nervously nearby, just hoping to catch his eye. Not only did he wink at me and call me over, he ignored his manager when she told him he had to leave, saying “But she’s wearing our t-shirt, I have to meet her!” It still makes me smile to this day. 

Female, 23
Sneinton 

 

A few years ago, my mate got me a t-shirt with a picture of Louis Theroux's face on it as a joke. One day I was stood next to him at a urinal, and completely forgot what I was wearing. He smiled when he saw me, but I just thought ‘Hey, I don't want to bother him, he probably gets this all the time’, so I decided to pretend I didn't know who he was and blank him. He left looking confused, and I congratulated myself on not inconveniencing this great man, before looking in the mirror and realising I literally had his face plastered across my chest. Sometimes I still lie awake and think about that. 

Male, 22
Lenton

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