A hilarious Professor Van-Tam chant was sung by Boston fans as he watches from the stands as a well known hardcore supporter.
The Pilgrims faithful could be heard at the top of their lungs, aiming a song at Professor Jonathan Van-Tam during their 3-2 defeat to Alfreton Town in the National League North on Sunday.
Van-Tam, who was watching on from the main stand, was serenaded to chants of ‘we’re getting vaxxed in the morning’.
It was heard echoing around the Jakemans Community Stadium as Boston slumped to a defeat, with the hosts still remaining in the playoffs, and their opposition a place below and outside the zone.
Arise Sir Jonathan Van-Tam… 🧡🖤👏🏼 pic.twitter.com/3WIKIKXfUr
— Boston United (@bostonunited) December 31, 2021
Van-Tam, who is a Boston native, revealed during the first lockdown: “I’m a devout Boston United season-ticket holder and I’m desperate for football to come back.”
He was the one to vaccinate the Boston United players during the initial rollout in 2021, another moment that had him thrusted into the national headlines.
“A jab in an arm is a jab in an arm, it doesn’t matter who they are,” Van-Tam said.
“But by the same token, I admit there was something very special to me about being able to meet a couple of my heroes.”
Van-Tam then revealed he hoped the vaccinations would help the club to stay Covid-free and “able to win us the championship this season.”
Van-Tam makes it clear that he’s a football fan, and famously compared the vaccination rollout to being 3-0 up in a match.
“It’s a bit like being 3-0 up in a game and thinking ‘well, we can’t possibly lose this now’, but how many times have you seen the other side take it 4-3?”
57 year old Van-Tam was seven when his grandad took him to his first match. The both would cycle three and a half miles each way to York Street to watch the Lincolnshire side in the Northern Premier League against the likes of Wigan Athletic, Macclesfield Town and Morecambe.
“You didn’t lock your bike in those days,” he says. “You slung it behind one of the stands and went straight into the ground.”
Growing up, legendary Boston striker Jim Kabia quickly became his boyhood hero. “I met him recently. He had seen me on TV and said ‘I can’t believe I’m meeting you’ and I’m standing there telling him ‘I can’t believe I’m meeting you’.”
The former Boston Grammar School pupil was nine when he was part of a club-record 11,000 crowd at York Street for Derby’s visit for an FA Cup third-round replay in 1974.
Derby had been champions of England just 18 months before and Boston held them to a 0-0 draw at the Baseball Ground.
Four days later, Derby avenged a 6-1 defeat against Boston in 1955 – the biggest a non-league club has inflicted on league opposition in the FA Cup – by winning by that same margin.
“The ground was so packed that we kids had to sit on the grass near the touchline,” remembers the professor. “It was an afternoon kick-off and all the schools got closed. I’ve got the programme in a frame at home.”
He couldn’t make it to the FA Trophy final defeat by Wealdstone in 1985, the club’s only appearance at Wembley in their 88-year history, because of working long hours as a junior doctor, however was at Hayes in 2002 to see Boston promoted to the EFL for the first time.
Prof Van-Tam has suffered the low of seeing the club he loves come close to financial ruin and, in 2004, witnessed Paul Gascoigne pulling on a Boston shirt.
“Even then, at the end of his playing career, Gazza was producing little flickers of genius,” he adds.
After attended hundreds of games at York Street, Prof Van-Tam was determined to secure a piece of history when Boston left their old York Street ground in 2020 for the new Jakemans Community Stadium, which has been built to Football League standard.
“I’ve had a small extension built on the family home which serves as our sports bar,” he adds. “It has a little bar and a 65-inch telly specifically for watching sport. It’s the room where all my signed Boston United shirts and match balls are.
“What I really wanted was a turnstile from York Street to put in the doorway so you clicked through it to get to the sport.
“But they weren’t for sale and some members of the family were having absolutely none of it in any case.
“But I did manage to get a Sports Bar sign from outside the ground in a charity auction. That is now inside my sports bar above the telly. It’s a piece of York Street in my house.”
Prof Van-Tam has also secured a board listing club sponsors which managers would stand in front of for post-match interviews.
He adds: “When fans could not go to games last season, I followed Boston on the live stream. It wasn’t quite the same but it was better than nothing.”
The ground is full of nice little touches and details, which are often missing from new stadiums. Doesn’t seem rushed either 👏🏼 pic.twitter.com/tppFGxTKjx
— Joseph Gibbons (@JoeBillGibbo) January 2, 2022