Kilmarnock defender Jack Sanders reveals his dad drove seven hours to see Ayrshire Derby header

Jack Sanders admits having his dad in the stadium watching him score a goal in the Ayrshire Derby was special – even more so considering he did a seven hour-plus round-trip in one day to see it.

His father regularly travels up from Bolton to watch the centre back, but Sanders admits it’s tough at times because he has to wait for the team sheet before telling his dad to hop in his car.

He tends to stay overnight, but due to the derby being on the Friday night he had to head back down to Lancashire straight after the match.

But Kimarnock’s Sanders admits knowing his dad was there when he headed home the third goal in a scintillating 3-1 win against Ayr United is something he’ll never forget.

The 23-year-old, who celebrated his birthday yesterday [Friday], said: “He comes to most games I’m involved in. Sometimes it’s difficult for him to get there.

Kilmarnock's Jack Sanders (14) makes it 3-0
Kilmarnock’s Jack Sanders (14) makes it 3-0

“But as soon as I got the green light I was playing he was straight in the car and straight up.

“Any game I’m involved in he’ll try to be there and watch.

“He really enjoyed it last week. He was at the Hamilton game too. It’s enjoyable and that’s what he comes for, it’s important to him.

“He drove straight back down the road on Friday, although sometimes he will stay over.

“Coming up from Bolton I think it was about 220 miles, about three and a half hours.

“I can’t really go down on my day off because it’s too far to drive and my parents are both retired so it’s easier for them to come and visit me.

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“Their support means everything to me, it’s a huge boost. I’m really close to my family, they got me on this journey and it’s hugely important to me.

“If they can experience those special moments like last Friday night with me then that’s what matters.”

Sanders insists that despite the title talk rumbling, all his side are focused on is Queen of the South visiting Rugby Park today.

He said: “The end goal is what everyone is aware of, but we don’t look too far ahead.

“We have a massive game against Queen of the South and all the focus is on that, they have a new manager in so we know it will be difficult.

“We need to take each game as it comes and if we do that then we should be okay.”

He added: “We have missed out on a few opportunities this season to go top of the league so it was important that we managed that last week.

“It gives us a psychological advantage, obviously results went our way, but we know things are in our hands.

“We made a statement last Friday night with a good performance but we need to keep that going.

“We know if we win all our games then we will do well.

“Being out in front gives everyone a lift. When you are at the top you are not relying on the results, you can focus just on yourself.

“We can do that. But the biggest game we have this season is Queen of the South as it’s our next game.

“We need three points because we need to keep building.”

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