Fans at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday witnessed a rare thing. Not only did their beloved Middlesbrough collect all three points against league leaders Arsenal, the team also played vibrant attacking football which belied their lowly Premier League position.
Now the club are trying to capitalise on this ‘once-in-a-blue-moon’ occasion by sending out a video message to 25,000 fans, in an attempt to start filling their stadium once again.
Wheater says: “I know you love the Boro, I know you still care about the team and you know that I do too.
“I have supported them all my life. I am so proud to pull on a shirt and play for this club, and I am not afraid to show it.
“There is still a long way to go this season and some big games. I can’t wait to take on Manchester United, Liverpool and the rest, to show them what we are capable of.
“And when I have run my guts out for 70 minutes and I am faced with (Steven) Gerrard or (Cristiano) Ronaldo, I know there is nothing better than to get stuck in and to that you are all behind me.
“It gives me the extra push to tear right through them and win the ball.
“You, sitting here in the ground week after week, can make all the difference, the noise, the passion and the atmosphere. I have even saved you a seat. I know you want to.”
Will the Boro faithful respond to the young local defender’s heartfelt plea or remember the several times that they’ve been bored into submission by their team? Victory at Pride Park on Saturday would will surely mean a 30,000+ crowd for Boro’s final home match of 2007 against West Ham on 22nd December.