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Sky Bet Play-Offs: Meet the EFL SuperFans

EFL SuperFans announced… but who are they?

25 May 2018

Come rain or shine, the only thing that matters is your club.

For six teams, just one match remains to determine if they’ll earn promotion. An almost unrivalled excitement, with the possibility of bitter disappointment for some – it is what makes football so universally appealing.

An outpouring of differing emotions for the duration of the fixture, it is those in attendance who fill stadiums week in week out. The 12th man – they are the voice of inspiration for those on the pitch.

Recognising the impact supporters up and down the country have on their team, the EFL have supercharged the matchday experience for six fans of the finalists, all chosen by their club, for the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two showpieces.

Read more: EFL launch SuperFans campaign

So are born the EFL SuperFans… but who are they?

Aston Villa and Fulham square off in what is known to be the richest game in football, worth an estimated £175 million.

First up on Saturday 26 May, a sell-out crowd will be in attendance to witness one of the biggest games in English football. Will it be Steve Bruce’s Villa side or Slavisa Jokanovic’s Cottagers who earn promotion to the Premier League?

Representing Aston Villa is Anne Edwards, whilst Tony Fisher will be donning the colours of Fulham.

Name: Anne Edwards
Age: 73
Hometown: Birmingham
Aston Villa supporter for: 61 years
First Aston Villa match: Aston Villa v Luton Town, 7 January 1957
Favourite Aston Villa match: Aston Villa 1-0 Bayern Munich, European Cup Final, 26 May 1982
Favourite Aston Villa player: Paul McGrath
Favourite Aston Villa memory: Aston Villa winning the old First Division title at Highbury on 2 May 1981What are Anne’s thoughts on Fulham in the final? “We’re going to have to be on our toes and hold the ball a bit better. Fulham pass the ball well and are a really good team to watch. We need to make sure the boys keep an eye on Ryan Sessegnon!”

Name: Tony Fisher
Age: 52
Hometown: London
Fulham supporter for: 34 years
First Fulham match: Fulham v Tottenham, FA Cup Third Round, 7 January 1984
Favourite Fulham match: Fulham v Juventus, Europa League, 18 March 2010
Favourite Fulham player: Everyone in the 2017/18 squad. I can’t single out any player!
Favourite Fulham memory: Apart from the Europa League experience, it has to be the recent events of this season. Reaching Wembley and the euphoria at the full-time whistle after beating Derby County was amazing. As was the 23-match unbeaten run of which I attended all games.
How do you feel knowing that you’re going to be watching Fulham at Wembley? “I’m ecstatic, absolutely over the moon. It’s a dream come true, I remember seeing Fulham in 1975 when I was ten years old on the TV at Wembley in the FA Cup Final and now I am actually going to go to Wembley.

Rotherham United and Shrewsbury Town contest the Sky Bet League One Play-Off Final, just one step from a place in the Championship.

Will it be Shrewsbury, who were tipped for relegation at the start of the season, or Rotherham, who under Paul Warne are looking to bounce back from the drop last term?

Hoping to witness the taming of the Shrews is Millers fan Pete Rhodes, with Chris Allen hoping his side can win at Wembley for the first time in five attempts.

Name: Pete Rhodes
Age: 36
Hometown: Rotherham
Rotherham supporter for: 8 years
First Rotherham match: Pre-season friendly against Peterborough United
Favourite Rotherham match: Leyton Orient 2-2 Rotherham United, 2014 Play-Off Final – Rotherham winning on penalties
Favourite Rotherham player: Shaun Goater
Favourite Rotherham memory: Tony Stewart taking the club over and securing Rotherham a beautiful new stadium seeing us play in Rotherham again.
What are your thoughts on the final today against Shrewsbury Town? “I’d like to say I think we’ll win 2-1, a repeat of the 1996 final so that’s my prediction.”

Name: Chris Allen
Age: 49
Hometown: Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury Town supporter for: 40 years
First Shrewsbury Town match: Shrewsbury Town v Brentford, 1978
Favourite Shrewsbury Town match: Shrewsbury Town v Exeter City, 1979 – the last time we got promoted to the second tier
Favourite Shrewsbury Town player: Steve Cross
Favourite Shrewsbury Town memory: Avoiding relegation to the conference away at Exeter in 2000 with Micky Brown scoring.
What does it mean to the fans, to get to Wembley and potentially even get to the Championship? “It’s the promised land isn’t it? Shrewsbury Town playing in the Championship, wow. I was supporting Shrewsbury 40 years ago when we were up there before but it’s just a different level now.”

Finally, an exhilarating Bank Holiday weekend of football will come to a head in the Sky Bet League Two Play-Off Final.

Mark Robins’ Coventry City will face Exeter City, who narrowly missed out on promotion last season after defeat at this very stage 12 months ago.

In the blue corner, wearing the Coventry City colours, is Pat Raybould. In the red corner, representing the Grecians… Phillip Miller.

Name: Patricia Anne Raybould
Age: 71
Hometown: Coventry
Coventry supporter for: 60 years
First Coventry match: Coventry City v Watford, 1959
Favourite Coventry match: Coventry City 3-2 Tottenham Hotspur, 1987 FA Cup Final
Favourite Coventry player: Mo Konjic
Favourite Coventry memory: Winning promotion from the old Second Division in 1967
How did you feel when Coventry made it to the final? “Absolutely amazing. It’s far better than I ever expected, I didn’t realise it would feel quite like this. I was actually speechless, I couldn’t even spit sixpence! My throat was so sore and dry I just needed to get back on the coach and have a drink!”

Name: Phillip Miller
Age: 40
Hometown: Exeter
Exeter supporter for: 35 years
First Exeter match: 1983, don’t remember the game but it was with my dad and my two brothers
Favourite Exeter match: Oxford United 2-2 Exeter City, Play-Off Semi-Final 2007 – Exeter won on penalties
Favourite Exeter player: Darran Rowbotham
Favourite Exeter memory: Plymouth Argyle 0-3 Exeter City, 21 April 1993
What would it mean to the fans if Exeter were to get promoted? “It would mean everything, it would be incredible. With the new away stand due to be opened in September, it would be great if we were in League One for that.”

Look out for the EFL SuperFans walking out the Sky Bet Play-Off Trophy onto the pitch ready for kick-off at each of the three Finals! 

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