The two have been friends since meeting five years ago. Eric was a regular at Ayresome Park, and now at Riverside Arena, where he is well-known for delivering updates to anyone wanting to know the status of rival teams’ matches, thanks to the large radio he used to carry around with him. Goffy has name-checked his mate on his show many times.
On meeting again recently, Eric told Goffy he would be 60 soon and said: “I know I’m famous on the radio, but I’ve never been on.”
Goffy said: “When he mentioned it was his 60th birthday in a little while I though yeh, let’s do it, let’s get Eric on because he’s got great memories.”
Describing how they got together to record their pre-match interview, Goffy said: “Eric was hugely excited about the game.
“In fact, so excited that when I pulled up at the home where they look after him so brilliantly in Redcar, he was waiting outside and – I think I was about 10 minutes late – he was pointing at his watch!
“It was lovely to sit down and chat with him and get him on the radio for the very first time to recall his Borough times.”
Natasha Dodkins, acting manager at Redfern House where Eric lives, said: “Eric told listeners Brian Robson was the best player we ever had, and his best friend, and he was absolutely buzzing when Goffy gave him a signed photo of Robbo which now has pride of place in Eric’s room.
“After the interview we were thrilled to see a lovely Facebook post by Goffy, aimed at my colleagues, that said: Thanks to great people for bringing joy to his life and making him smile. We were so delighted by that.
“And since then, Goffy’s been encouraging people, including past players, to send cards and messages to Eric for his birthday on 8 June. We’re really expecting that to be quite the event!”
Eric also shared with listeners his very positive views on other well-known Middlesbrough FC personalities such as David Hodgson and John Hickton and said how much he used to enjoy the commentaries of Alastair Brownlee.
At Goffy’s invitation, he ended his radio appearance with a tuneful rendition of ‘Up the Boro.’
Listeners responded to the interview enthusiastically on social media, with many sending good wishes to Eric for his big day, saying what a great man he is and how much they’d enjoyed the interview.