Mick Holmes is counting off the days until his nephew once more becomes a star of our TV screens.
We have reported on here before how young Max Vento has stolen hearts with his performance as the autistic Joe Hughes in the BBC drama The A Word.
This coming Tuesday marks the start of series three, some two and a half years on from the last one, with Joe now aged nine.
And his reappearance alongside top-quality performers such as Christopher Eccleston, Lee Ingleby and Morve Christie comes at an appropriate time for the extended family.
“We buried my mum in Harrogate on Thursday and Max was at the service,” Mick said today. “He and his parents live only a mile from where she lived in Guiseley, Leeds, and he often went round to watch the episodes in series two with her.
“It’s very sad that she won’t see this one but she was as proud of him as the rest of us are.
“Julie Hesmondhalgh has joined the cast now and has been brilliant with him….so down-to-earth apparently. I have only seen the trailers for this one the same as everyone else but I can’t wait to start watching the programme.”
The series is based in the Lake District and Manchester and would have had its official launch several days ago but for the coronavirus.
“Max has even got an agent now, which is something I never had in my football career,” Holmes added.
“His parents do a great job in keeping him grounded and I play my part by telling him I am the star of the family because I played for Wolves in front of 88,000 at Wembley!
“He is not a footballer but is a very talented lad and was also nominated for an award for his role in a short film called Cotton Wool. His mum was Leanne Best, the niece of the fifth Beetle, Pete Best.
“He has also had some other auditions and we are looking forward to seeing what turns up next for him. He must play a very convincing part as Joe Hughes because some people are a bit awkward about approaching him, thinking he really is autistic.”
Holmes, having taken four weeks off to deal with the family crisis, returns to his job on Monday – he is classed as a key worker as he sells stairlifts for Age UK.
He was further saddened this week by the death of his former Bradford City manager Trevor Cherry and is slowly starting to follow the debate about whether the current season should eventually be completed or written off.
“I would have felt devastated if those goals I scored for Wolves in seven successive League games in 1986-87 had been wiped out,” he said. “So, too, if one of those great seasons we had in the lower divisions had not been allowed to finish.”