Carshalton boxer Ricky Boylan returned to his childhood stomping ground on Saturday to watch Sutton United cement their place in the Skrill South play-offs.
As a 10-year-old, Boylan used to live across the road from Gander Green Lane, and he and his friends would watch Sutton United.
Now the 25-year-old, dubbed the King of Carshalton after his southern area light welterweight title win over fellow Carshalton boxer Tony Owen in December, has returned to show off his belt to the crowd.
And he proved to be a good luck charm as United put last weekend’s defeat at Maidenhead behind them to beat play-off contenders Ebbsfleet United 3-1, with two second half goals from Jamie Taylor, and Simon Downer’s second goal of the season.
However, after chatting with chairman Bruce Elliott, Boylan was not the most popular of celebrity visitors.
The champ said: “It was great to be back, I used to go when I was about 10 years old, me and some mates would hang around the recreation ground and then sneak in over the fence – when I told the chairman he was not too pleased.
“I have not been there for a while, because when my family moved to Carshalton I would go to watch them play, and when I told the chairman that he was not too pleased either.”
He added: “I don’t see any reason why Sutton cannot get promoted.
“They did not play well until going 1-0 down.
“The goal seemed to wake them up and after that, they were excellent.”
Boylan was impressed with not only the set up at the Lane, but also the infectious enthusiasm of boss Doswell.
“I had never met Paul before, but I really took to him. He is so enthusiastic about the club and football.
“You can tell he is right behind it.”
Boss Paul Doswell, the man who has bank-rolled redevelopment at Gander Green Lane, said: “It was great to have Ricky at the game. He’s one of our own, so we should support him.
“He’s a big smiler and he conducted himself very well. He had lunch with the chairman and then met the fans, which was great.
“He’s diminutive light welterweight with an unbeaten record, and I know he will have a lot more fans after coming to see us.”
He added: “We’ll be following him closely as his career goes on and hopefully we can both move up the levels together.”