So many people up and down the country are used to spending their weekends – and sometimes week nights – travelling far and wide to watch their football team play, paying hefty amounts of money to do so. Football away days are part of a unique culture whereby despite the luxury of being able to watch games on TV, fans choose to show their loyalty by following the team and feeling involved.
But with the new season just under way, who is going to have to show the most commitment to see their team play this year? Check out the longest away days of 2015/16:
Carlisle & Plymouth is the longest set of away days this season in the Football League, where fans will have to make roughly a 780 mile round-trip to catch their teams’ 90 minute clashes.
Hartlepool & Exeter will have to put up with a similarly lengthy trip to see their sides meet in League 2. 691 miles separates their northern and southern homes.
Morcambe & Portsmouth is yet another League 2 clash that will make fans clock up well over 500 miles of travelling. At least for Pompey fans they can look forward to sampling Globe Arena’s famous pies.
Bournemouth & Newcastle is by far the Premier League’s longest away day this season and it’s also being played out for the first ever time in this competition. A fixture which will see fans travel in total over 700 miles between the South coast and the North East, it surpasses last season’s longest away trip which was between Swansea and Newcastle. On average though, the Swans fans still racked up the most average miles to see their team play away, with 217.
Middlesbrough & Brighton is the longest trip fans in the Championship could be involved with, well-exceeding the 600 mile mark in total.
Fleetwood & Gillingham is League One’s longest trip. The trip between the Lancashire Coast and Kent falls just under the 600 mile mark but to make it worse for grumbling fans, both fixtures are also set to be on a Tuesday night.
More Away Day Facts…
Aston Villa were the luckiest away fans last season in the Premier League, having travelled the least amount of miles for away games. On average they racked up 110 miles for each journey during the season.
The shortest away day belongs to the long-standing Premier League derby between Liverpool and Everton, whose grounds are only 1.2 miles apart.
It’s unlikely that there’ll be an away trip longer than that of poor Aberdeen fans this season, having just travelled a staggering 6830 mile round-trip for their Europa League tie with Kazakhstan side Kairat Almaty. 85 fans made that trip in what is surely the ultimate display of dedication. Their jet-lagged side lost 2-1 on the night in an away day which actually stretches further than the distance between the Scottish city and New York across the Atlantic Ocean.
If any teams in the Football League were to theoretically meet in cup competition, the longest away day would be shared between Plymouth and Newcastle which is approximately a 15 hour round trip on road. The last time this fixture happened was back in 2010.
Often referred to as Casuals, football fan culture first became prominent in the 70s and 80s when dedicated fans would follow their teams wherever they went in casual clothing, avoiding club colours and crests to go under the radar of police, rival fans and pub landlords who would associate them with hooliganism. Often young and blessed with plenty of disposable income, Casuals become known for their fondness of designer clothing and Liverpool was widely regarded as the centre of the scene with their large fan-base allegedly picking up continental style from the their away trips in European competition which spread to fans all-over the country. Terrace culture has since been portrayed in numerous films and it has had a profound influence on young male fashion too.