NEAR POST – GOING THE DISTANCE

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Truro City Fans

After my re-blog of the Game of the People article “Truro fans defy the farce of regionalised football“, in which describes how fans of Truro City “will cover some 11,500 miles this season to fulfil their Southern League Premier fixtures[…]an average of 500 miles per away [game]”; I thought I’d look into which team’s fans travel the furthest and shortest distances.

Longest Distances

As previously stated, Truro City fans travel an average of 500 miles per away game.

Debate rages over whether it’s Plymouth Argyle or West Brom fans who travel the most miles per season. Newcastle United are further away from other stadiums as the crow flies but the road infrastructure means that their away fans travel less miles to games.

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Carlisle United Fans

Carlisle United fans have several long-distance away fixtures this season. When they play Bristol City away, it’s a roundtrip of over 550 miles, and Peterborough is over 450 miles there and back; but when United play any of the teams in or around London, its a whopping 600 mile plus round trip!

When Carlisle played Torquay in the FA Cup it was over 720 miles there and back, with a coach journey of nearly 12 hours!

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Tranmere Rovers Coach

If Tranmere Rovers ever play Brighton and Hove Albion away, that’s a 550 mile round trip, and Cardiff to Newcastle in the EPL is nearly 650 miles there and back.

If followers of Truro and Carlisle think they travel long distances then they should count themselves lucky that they don’t support an MLS team and travel to away games.

This from the Guardian Sport website article “MLS: Where 1,000 miles is a short trip for away supporters“:

The average journey for North American fans is still one of the longest you would undertake in most other leagues; the bigger journeys are more expeditions than road trips; Portland Timbers fans going to New York is the same as going from London to Baghdad. LA Galaxy at Boston is longer than Tokyo to Manila.

The journey those Fire fans made to Toronto clocked in at 1,000 miles round trip, and that’s their second closest game; in England, no-one can travel that far at all, and it’s pushing the longest trip most European fans would have to make. Only fans in Russia can hold a candle in terms of the distances travelled to see a team play, and even there, the average distances tend to be exaggerated by a small number of teams in Siberia and the far-east.

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FC Tom

Siberian football teams include FC Sibir Novosibirsk and FC Tom Tomsk, and FC Terek Grozny are based in Chechnya.

Novosibirsk to Moscow to watch Sibir play Torpedo is 3,355 km by road, and takes 41 hours, so that’s a 6,710 km and 82-hour road trip!

Novosibirsk to Volgograd (home of Rotor Volgograd) is over 6,500km there and back, and each leg of the journey is 40 hours by road.

Grozny, Chechnya to Moscow and back to watch CSKA or Spartak is nearly 3,500km by road, and Grozny to the Urals is nearly 5,750km there and back!

Krasnodar is just a short hop, skip and a jump away at 680km away from Grozny, so only a 1,360km round trip.

Vladovostok FC travel 15,000km west towards the more populace side of Russia every away game.

Chinese football fans watching away fixtures also rack up the kilometres. Fans of Tianjin Teda who travel to Wuhan Zall undertake a journey of 2,280km there and back, whereas Wuhan to Beijing to watch Beijing Guoan is a road trip of over 2,300km.

Pity the poor coach driver!

Shortest Distances

In my previous article “CAN WE PLAY YOU EVERY WEEK?“, I featured Garrison Gunners and Woolpack Wanderers, who share a ground and play each other every week.

The two teams play in The Isles of Scilly Football League, which is the world’s smallest football league.

The Isles of Scilly are 30 miles off the south-west coast of England, so fans of either side who actually live on the island don’t have far to go to follow their team. However, for any fans travelling from the mainland it’s a different matter.

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Travelling Chester Fans

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