Portsmouth fan Dave Easley has finally set foot in Fratton Park, after the club arranged a tour of the ground for the America-based supporter.Easley, from South Carolina, is a shareholder in the club and has been following Pompey's performances for almost a decade after discovering them online, but it is only now that he has visited the stadium of the South Coast side.
“It’s hard to hear a passion, but at Pompey I heard it across the radio airwaves, felt it and straight away I sensed it was a blue collar town that I could identify with,” Easley told the club's official website.
“People back home ask me why I’m a Pompey fan and it’s pretty hard to explain other than it was the blue collar club I fell in love with, a bug I was bitten by and consequently something I wanted to be part of.
“I am proud to be a shareholder and for me, since I can’t come to games, it was my way of giving some small thing back to Pompey.
“I’m rarely, as my friends would tell you, lost for words like today, but I’m just so proud to be a small part of this club. Every part of Fratton Park is almost how I always imagined it to be.”
Easley is one of Portsmouth's 740 fans from abroad who have registered for The Football League's Stand Up & Be Counted campaign, aimed at engaging the global fanbase of its 72 clubs. Pompey currently lie 17th in the table, which is headed by Notts County.
Stand Up & Be Counted asks fans to register their country and city of residence via a dedicated microsite at representyourclub.com, so whether you are a supporter of Accrington Stanley in Argentina or York City in Yemen you can show your support of your club.
The site includes an overall leaderboard so fans can see where their club’s global fanbase ranks compared to the other 71 Football League clubs, as well as a map displaying where in the world fans are from.