At least one Southampton supporter was still behind the team well into a rout that ended up tying the record for largest victory in Premier League history: a 13-year-old named Tom. It’d be easy for any young teenager to jump ship from a team that they just witnessed be on the wrong end of a 9-0 loss, but Tom’s father Mike told the BBC that his son was surprisingly not swayed from wanting to come back to St Mary’s Stadium, even though things got bad fast.
“He’d waited so long for it. Just walking to the ground, you could see his face light up at how fantastic it was going to be, with all the swirling rain and the lights and TV cameras and lots of people.
“It was wonderful. And that lasted 10 minutes,” Mike, 43, told BBC Sport.
“[Tom] was shouting encouragement, telling the players to get in space and if he can do that, he can survive being a football fan. He is an emotional kid, he feels stuff and I was worried after the first goal went in, but he said he wants to go back when we play a team we can beat, like Watford!”
As if the childhood innocence preventing Tom from falling into a downward spiral towards pure cynicism wasn’t impressive enough, the report reveals that his commitment is a decision he made on his own, as his dad isn’t even a Southampton fan—he supports Norwich. Tom’s Southampton support didn’t leave Friday’s game completely unscathed, however.
“Tom said he might play as Leicester on Fifa now, though,” Mike added.
Considering that Leicester had recorded the biggest ever victory by an away side in an English top-flight league match in the 131-year history of the Football League, inflicted Southampton’s biggest ever defeat as an English league side in history, became just the second team in Premier League history to have a five-goal lead in the first half of an away game (Manchester City did it in 2010 against Burnley), and became only the second side in Premier League history to have two players score a hat-trick in the same game (Ayoze Pérez and Jamie Vardy), it’s probably safe to assume that Southampton are willing to accept this concession. As the club surely knows by now, you can’t win them all.
Those wanting to witness what the on-pitch carnage looked like can watch the highlights here: