The Longest Distance Football Away Days
A big part of being a football fan who regularly attends matches is the ‘Away Day’. As a devoted fan that means regular trips around the country by plane, train & auto-mobile… well not usually by plane in the UK, but as you’ll see below there are some distances that certainly warrant it! Lets take a look then at the longest hauls that we, football fans, have to traverse not just here in the UK but also further afield. [Caveat: naturally if the teams in the football league change there’s a slim chance these could!]
The Furthest Possible Football League Away Day
One of the joys of cup competition in England & Wales is that you could theoretically face any other team within the football league. So what’s the longest distance away day that could theoretically happen? Well that prize goes to Plymouth Argyle Vs Newcastle United (or the reverse fixture of course). At roughly 335 miles as the crow flies it is actually quickest to take the crows lead & fly, which’d take around 4 hours 45 minutes. It’s typically about 7 hours by road or 7 and a half by train, so as a round trip we’re talking a possible 15 hours… and that’s if there are no interruptions or traffic jams along the way! It happened as recently as April 2010 which saw a dedicated bunch of Toon fans head to Plymouth, dedication surpassed only by the fact that the fixture happened 3 times that season: twice in the Championship & once in January 2010 in the FA Cup when 60 Plymouth fans fought through blizzard weather and back to watch their team lose 3-0 at Newcastle. Top work!
The Furthest Possible Westernmost to Easternmost League Away Day
That first one is coincidentally also the northernmost and southernmost football league clubs facing off, so what about the westernmost to easternmost? Well the westernmost is, again, Plymouth Argyle (who seem to be a corner of the UK Football League universe) who to play the easternmost would be featuring in the fixture Plymouth Argyle Vs Norwich City. That fixture sees their dedicated fans travel roughly 280 miles, if flying like a crow, and travelling for roughly 6 hours by car or train (on a good travel day). Just a matter of 12+ hours and 560+ miles for an away day round-trip then…
The Furthest Possible Football League Away Day In Europe
Serie A? The Bundesliga? No our research tells us that the longest distance away day within one country’s ‘football league’ equivalent is within the ‘Ligue de Football Professionnel’ in France where there can be the fixture Stade Brestois 29 Vs Monaco which sees fans having to travel a stonking 656 crow flying miles to the match and then the same back again. We’re talking an overnight stay inducing 13.5 hours plus by road, or (far preferably budget permitting) a surprisingly do-able 3hrs by plane! [Yes, we’re ignoring the technicality of Monaco being a sovereign city-state so not strictly speaking in France]
The Furthest Possible Football League Away Day Worldwide [Away ‘Day’ loosely speaking here!]
We’re going to confess there’s a chance somebody out there can prove use wrong on this one, but research suggest the longest theoretical away day distance in the world is… in Russia (which perhaps in itself is no great surprise). There a football cup calendar might theoretically throw up FC Luch-Energiya Vladivostock Vs FC Zenit Saint Petersburg which would see away fans travelling… wait for it… 4,062 miles direct by air to the match. 8,124 miles return. 127 hours by road or 6 days & 6 hours by train. And by plane? 8hrs 35 minutes, only an hour longer than a Plymouth to Newcastle by car on a good day!… but a few quid more at roughly £300 return currently. But nobody realistically does that away day right? Well reportedly in 2006 3 Zenit fans did it… by car…the car then duly broke down in Vladivostock leaving them having to get the Trans-Siberian Railway back to Saint Petersburg once the match had been played, and on their return Zenit reportedly bought them a new car in tribute. Was it worth it? They won 2-0, so I’m sure they’d tell you yes. That’s footballing life.