Ipswich Town: Dedicated Blue Army to travel 8,000 miles to cheer on ITFC

TRAVELLING the length and breadth of the country the most ardent of Ipswich Town fans are expected to travel around 8,000 miles this season in pursuit of their team.

New research by Capital One, the new sponsors of the Capital One Cup, has revealed fans will spend 9,518 minutes on the road, spending on average �1,484.98 on fuel to watch the Super Blues during the Championship campaign this year.

With Bolton and Blackburn dropping from the top flight into the Championship and Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday securing promotion from League One, the distance the Blue Army will travel has increased, reaching a total of 7,921 miles according to the research.

Simon Clegg, ITFC’s chief executive said fans face a string of far-flung, away fixtures after winning 3-1 against Bristol Rovers in the first round of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday.

He said: “Our reward was to draw the most northern team in the Football League, Carlisle, only three days after we are due to play the most northern team in the Championship, Blackpool.

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“I know that this will be a challenge for many of our loyal fans but I can assure you that your support away from home really is appreciated by the players and does have an impact on the way they play.”

Manager Paul Jewell added: “I know it will be a real test for our fans, two long journeys in three days. Every journey seems to be a long one from Ipswich though.

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“The support we receive on the road though has been magnificent. It amazes me sometimes how many travel and does make a difference to us to enjoy such fantastic backing.”

Among the loyal band of supporters will be Stephen Bailey, of Chesterton Close, who aims to make it to every away game this season.

The 20-year-old told the Star it is important for him to show his support.

“For the last three to four seasons I have been going to the away games too,” he said.

“It is just a way of showing all round support.

“Away games are much different, obviously there aren’t as many fans so it does show more commitment.

“It is going the full way for the team, there is normally a group of us and the players really appreciate it.”

With his rail card in hand, booking ahead means Mr Bailey keeps the cost of travel down.

“It can get expensive,” he added. “But it doesn’t put me off.”

Fans supporting Plymouth Argyle are set to travel the furthest, covering 11,068 miles to cheer on the League 2 team.

Across all the divisions fans will travel on average 6,540 miles, spend 120 hours on the road and pay �1,230 on fuel costs if they watch all their club’s away games.

n How do you think ITFC will do this season? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk

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