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Fans fly in for Wembley clash
THE WORLD will descend on Wembley this weekend to watch Swindon Town take on Chesterfield in the club’s first cup final there in 43 years.
Around 30,000 fans are expected to travel to the home of football to see the Reds take on the Blues in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tomorrow – and some are coming further than others.
The club’s most far-flung supporters are jetting in for the game from as far away as the United Arab Emirates, Germany and Hungary, while others even farther afield in Australia will be glued to their televisions.
Swindon-born golf pro Mark Bull, 27, and his dad Andy, 50, will be catching a seven-and-a-half hour flight from UAE capital Dubai tomorrow morning before meeting family and friends outside the ground.
He said: “It will be my first time going to the new Wembley and hopefully we will win to make it special.
“Whenever there’s a game on, me and my dad listen to it on the radio – sometimes when there’s a late game we don’t get to bed until 2am but I can’t get to sleep if I don’t know the score.
“I’ve been called a bit mad by my wife but she’s signed off on it, although she didn’t want to come just for such a short trip.”
Another flying fan is Alastair Orr, who grew up in the Swindon but is now a pilot based in Frankfurt, who will land in the morning, watch the game and leave hours later.
The 29-year-old said: “I follow Town as much as I can on the website and the radio. I’m really excited about the final – I think it was one of our objectives to win this trophy and we’ve never done it.
“I’m going to say Swindon will win 2-0. It will different to the play-off final as I think they were a bit scared.
“But we are in a better position than Chesterfield, even though they are a league above.”
Die-hard season-ticket holder Declan Drake, 40, regularly jets in for home games from Dublin and he said he was looking forward to the game.
He said: “I’ve watched Town about 10 times this season and I think we are going into the game full of confidence.
“I just hope it’s a good feeling rather than the rejection of leaving Wembley with a defeat.
“I’ll be staying in London with a friend afterwards and we’ll celebrate in an Irish bar afterwards.
“There will be a group of guys watching in Ireland too – it’s great as a lot of my work colleagues are following the results now too. Best of luck to Town’s Irish contingent.”
Meanwhile life-long supporter Lee Bizley will be watching from 10,000 miles away with the supporters’ club he has set up Down Under.
Lee, 32, his family, and friends will wearing Paolo di Canio masks while they watch the game during a party being hosted by the Town fan.
He said: “I’ve got 11 mates coming round and we’re going to have a massive party, we’ll have a barbie and get the beers in.
“Because it’s a Sunday we have all booked the next day off work. There are three people from Swindon who have been out here for 15 years and a few Aussie mates.”