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Overseas Football League fans travel the world to see their heroes in action

8 December 2015

Three Football League fans from around the world have been given the incredible opportunity to fly over to the UK after winning The Football League’s Stand Up & Be Counted campaign.

Middlesbrough fan Bill Robinson from Donegal in the Republic of Ireland was the first fan to receive the news after his name was announced on Saturday evening’s ‘Football on 5’ highlights programme which aired on Channel 5 over the weekend. Bill was randomly selected as the overall winner of the campaign, which saw more than 52,000 overseas fans register the team they support on, along with their country and city of residence.

Chesterfield fan Alex Douglas, who lives over 10,000 miles away from his club in Brisbane in Australia, was the second fan to be named after being surprised with a message from fellow countryman and Chesterfield star Chris Herd who invited Alex to come and watch his heroes in action (watch the video here). Alex was randomly selected from 8,667 other Australian fans, a reward for the country topping the list of nations with the most overseas Football League supporters.

The club with the most fans registered as part of the campaign was League 2 Notts County.  Their total of 6,359 was primarily down to the unique support they have from the ‘Italian Magpies’ supporters group – established because of the club’s connection to Italian giants Juventus. As a reward for this global show of support, the third selected winner was Notts County fan Marco Tomasi, who will be flown over from Brescia in Italy to watch his side in action at Meadow Lane.

The full results of the Stand Up & Be Counted campaign can be found at where each club’s own map of the world showing their global support is on display. At least one fan from a Football League club registered in all 247 of the different territories.

Commenting on the campaign, Shaun Harvey, Chief Executive of The Football League said: “Football League clubs have always been right at the heart of their local communities but it’s quite incredible that there are also fans of our clubs in every country in the world.  It’s great to see the level of passion there is for The Football League around the globe and we are delighted to offer the opportunity for these three fans to come and see their team live as a reward for the support they show their respective clubs.”

Fans who missed out on being shortlisted for the prize to fly to the UK still don’t have to miss a goal for their club with The Football League’s Club PlayerHD service offering live match commentary of every game. In addition, Football League matches and highlights are broadcast in up to 167 territories around the world every week throughout the season.

To see the full rankings and where their club is placed, supporters can visit www.representyourclub.

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