IT takes a very special occasion to make a professional footballer think about anything other than trying to help his team win.

But that's exactly the situation Ashley Fletcher has found himself in this week.

The 21-year-old spent his childhood cheering on Bolton Wanderers from the stands, dreaming of one day playing for his beloved club.

And tomorrow he will finally get to play at the Macron stadium on the same field as the super Whites.

Only he will not be trying to score for them but against them.

The former Wanderers Academy player, who scored 150 goals for the junior age-group teams at Bolton between the ages of nine and 12, will line up for Middlesbrough against the Whites in their league game at the Macron.

He signed for the North East club in the summer from West Ham United for £6.5million after previously playing for Manchester United and England's age-group teams.

But he could have been on the opposite team tomorrow as he was one of the stars of the junior teams at Wanderers before being picked up by Manchester United.

Ashley was born in West Yorkshire after his parents moved there from Bolton so dad, Mick, could begin a career in the police force.

But they moved back when he and his younger brother Elliott were small and their love affair with Wanderers began almost immediately when grandparents David and Norma Vause began to take them to matches at the then Reebok Stadium.

"My grandma and grandpa took me to Bolton from being about four or five," the former pupil of The Oaks primary school and Canon Slade told The Bolton News.

"We used to sit in the end opposite the tunnel on the right hand side.

"It will be surreal playing there on Saturday thinking there’ll be someone in my seat.

"It will bring back memories of the Premiership games I used to watch there growing up and the players I used to watch like Jay Jay Okocha and Youri Djorkaeff.

"There'll be a lot of family and friends there watching me. I think they've got a box and it will be a proud moment playing on the ground where I used to support the team with so many members of my family there supporting me.

"But I won’t be thinking about any of that when the game starts. I'll be focusing on what I have to do to help Middlesbrough win."

Dad Mick said it was "amazing" that his son would be playing at the ground where he grew up watching football and against the team he loved.

"There are going to be about 15 of his family and relatives going to watch him," he said. "It's going to be a party but some of us might be wondering who we should be supporting.

"It's great that his grandma and grandpa will be there because they spent all those years taking him to the Reebok to watch the team.

"They started watching Wanderers in the 1940s, went to the 1958 FA Cup final and were season ticket holders and still go to games now.

"For him to score on Saturday would be incredible, you just couldn't write it."