MY son’s 11th birthday at the weekend brought back some magical memories of a chaotic weekend in 2004.

Although Portsmouth had not read the script and beat my Leeds United side, it could only slightly dampen an emotional few hours.

And after spending Saturday with Jayden, as well as six of his school friends, the thoughts of that hectic time came flooding back.

I was at home having a chilled evening in preparation for the clash with Portsmouth at Elland Road.

I had eaten properly and was all geared up for an early night, to ensure I was in the best possible shape for the game.

I had been in bed for a while after my usual pre-game ritual of shaving my head, having a bath and getting focused on the match.

Then, my wife at the time felt the baby kicking and went into labour.

We were both quite cool about it, got ourselves into the car for the 15-minute drive to Leeds General Infirmary.

I helped deliver Jayden with the midwife, and holding my son was a magical and proud moment.

It wasn’t until my wife asked me what I was going to do about the game that I suddenly thought about football.

It was 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning and with my son born in good health, my mind now turned to football, and I wanted to go play.

The first member of the Leeds United staff I informed about what has been going on was Eddie Gray, who was manager at the time.

He told me to report as normal and then see how I was feeling.

I had no more than three hours sleep, adrenaline from my first son still keeping this natural buzz which meant that sleep was not needed.

Arriving at Elland Road, I was raring to go and my first stop was to tell the boss I was fit and ready to play.

I was in the starting 11 and winning the game would make the day absolutely perfect.

However, nobody had told Pompey that.

Even though I was not feeling the effects of little sleep, the Portsmouth attack of Yakubu and Lua Lua were making sure I was tired.

They were powerful, fast and not something I wanted to deal with that day.

Portsmouth won the game 2-1 and it was a massive disappointment.

I had a very quick shower as I wanted to rush back to hospital to see my wife and son.

Not even the abuse from some disappointed Leeds fan on the way to my car could spoil my joyful mood.

I have always valued family before football, as without family I would have no football.

But without football I will always have family.

I take pride in that day, delivering my son and then playing in the world’s best league.

Looking back 11 years later and telling my son the story gives me the big smile and excitement I had then.

Read Michael Duberry’s thoughts every Wednesday in the Oxford Mail