PAUL Aimson spent 13 years of his life scoring goals. Naturally, the former Cherries centre-forward, who retired at Colchester 43 years ago, wanted grandson Will to follow suit.

But sometimes you just have to listen to your old man. Consequently, when Will’s dad Gary decided his son would do well to knock his striking ambitions on the head and play at centre-half – well, that is what happened.

And it has worked out alright. Reared in Christchurch, where the family settled after Paul moved to Dean Court from York City in 1973, Will is a Wembley winner; a member of the Blackpool team that overcame Exeter City 2-1 in the League Two play-off final in May.

Aimson plotted a circuitous route to the national stadium. A young sporting all-rounder, he was comfortable enough in his own skin during his formative years to decline advances from a string of professional clubs.

Only when he was 18, in August 2012, did he definitively plump for football, leaving Eastleigh for Hull City – managed by redoubtable former Manchester United defender Steve Bruce.

Aimson told the Times: “I had offers from quite a few clubs but tried to stay away from that side of it when I was younger.

“I grew up playing a lot of sports – but you reach an age where, if you want to progress in one of them, you have to make a choice.

“I was playing county golf and had a five handicap, but I chose football. I had about 18 months when I really got my head down to try to make something of it and then Hull came in for me.”

Ironically, grandad Paul had started out as a centre-half at Manchester City, before being persuaded his wares would be better deployed at the other end of the pitch.

He passed away in 2008, but his influence on Will is enduring. So, too, on brothers Lewis, who plays for Bashley, and 18-year-old Ross, another promising footballer to come off the Aimsons' very own production line – and who actually beat Will to the punch when it came to playing at Wembley.

“I have been told all about my grandad’s career and shown loads of clippings and photos,” says 23-year-old Will.

“I used to play as a striker, which was his position. He was always arguing with my dad about him putting me to centre half!

“He never missed a game – and that went for my brothers as well. I really looked up to him.

“We are all close. Lewis is a good player and so is Ross – but he has a take it or leave it approach!”

Ross was 11 when he played at Wembley in the same South of England team as current Cherries player Corey Jordan. They faced their northern counterparts in a precursor to the 2010 League Two play-off final between Dagenham & Redbridge and Rotherham.

Will remembers his thoughts as he watched the showpiece action from the stands.

“I was thinking ‘I’d love a bit of that’ – so to find myself playing in the same game seven years later was strange,” he says.

“Days like our play-off final don’t come around too often. You look back and think ‘wow, that was quite something’.

“To be playing on a stage like that, and have my family and friends there… it doesn’t get any better.”

Aimson joined Blackpool from Hull in November 2015, having spent the previous 12 months recovering mentally and physically from a leg break he suffered playing on loan for Tranmere.

Blackpool were in the Premier League six years ago but, amid intense rancour between supporters and chairman Karl Oyston, they had been sinking fast. Until now… albeit thousands of fans will continue to boycott games while Oyston remains at the helm.

“My injury was like the flick of a switch and I was suddenly out for a year,” says Aimson, a former Highcliffe Senior School pupil.

“It wasn't easy but I think, if anything, it made me stronger.

“I didn’t break into the first team at Hull but I learned a lot from Steve Bruce – he was great with the younger players.

“Now I have found a place where I can play football and, hopefully, kick on again.

“We don’t get involved in the off-field stuff. We respect where some fans are coming from – you get used to playing in front of the smaller crowds and have to get on with it.

“It's great to have something positive to say about the club, because it's been on a downward spiral.”

The only fly in Aimson's ointment is the currently relatively reduced state of his golf game.

“I have the odd round when I play how I used to," he says. "I can still hit the shots – just nowhere near as often!"

The precious hardware he took home from Wembley, however, serves as an ongoing reminder Will Aimson chose the right sporting path. Judicious decision making is clearly a family trait.