Friends travel 11,000 miles to see Gosport Borough at Wembley

Laurence Feehan (left) and Paul Williams''''Picture: Paul Jacobs
Laurence Feehan (left) and Paul Williams''''Picture: Paul Jacobs

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Two dedicated fans have travelled more than 11,000 miles to see Gosport Borough at Wembley today.

Paul Williams has trekked from Wellington, in New Zealand, to cheer on the club in the FA Trophy final against Cambridge United.

The 63-year-old is joined by his friend Laurence Feehan and they will be travelling up to Wembley Stadium with other Gosport fans.

Paul first moved to Gosport in the 1960s and lived there for six years before emigrating to New Zealand.

But during that time, Gosport became his top football team – especially with his brother in law, Mick Catlin, being the team’s current assistant manager.

Paul said: ‘It is hard for me to follow Gosport while in New Zealand but my brother-in-law is Mick Catlin so between him and my sister, I get to know most of what’s going on. Whenever I come over to visit on holiday, I like to go to the games and I try to come over at least once a year.

‘It was my sister Lisa who told me about the cup run and the games and just how far the team had got.

‘She was getting pretty excited when the draw came out and she was the one who told me they had made it to the final.

‘I have been following it online but it can be difficult.’

The trip to Wembley will be a first for Paul and his friend Laurence.

The pair have been to Old Trafford in Manchester but have never set foot in the national stadium.

‘My friend is a (Manchester) United fan and I support them as well as Gosport so when we come back, we occasionally go up there,’ added Paul. ‘But neither of us have been to Wembley so we are excited for it.

‘We have even had special T-shirts made which say “New Zealand supporters tour” and they have the clubs badge on the back so everyone knows just how far we have travelled to see them play.’

Paul and Laurence arrived in Portsmouth last Sunday and they will be travelling back to Wellington on Monday morning. But before they leave, Paul is hoping that Gosport can pull a win out of the bag.

He said: ‘I think the match is 50/50 because there is a lot of space between the clubs when you look at the league.

‘But it is a major achievement for Gosport and, as long as the players enjoy themselves and don’t get too nervous, I think they have a great chance.

‘A win would be great but the most important thing is that the fans and players have fun.’

See this afternoon for live updates on the match and The News tomorrow for full coverage of a huge day for Gosport Borough and their fans

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