Pompey fan's agony after 3,968-mile wasted trip

Alan Kercher travelled 3,968 miles in a bid to watch his first Pompey match in three-and-a-half years.

Sunday, 22nd January 2017, 4:37 pm
Updated Sunday, 22nd January 2017, 4:43 pm
Alan Kercher was waiting outside Crawley's stadium

Yet his eight-and-a-half hour cross-Atlantic journey proved to be in vain as the Blues’ clash at Crawley fell foul of the weather.

Ohio-based Kercher had been back in England for two-and-a-half hours before Saturday’s Broadfield Stadium fixture was called off for a frozen pitch.

The eager Southsea-born Pompey fan was outside the ground sat in his hire car when agonising news of the postponement filtered through.

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Alan Kercher

It deprived him of attending a Blues match for the first time since the 4-1 Fratton Park defeat to Oxford United on the opening day of the 2013-14 campaign.

And with a trip home booked on Friday, Saturday represented his sole opportunity to see Paul Cook’s side play.

Kercher said: ‘I was due to work in England this week so I thought I’d leave Ohio earlier so I could catch the Pompey game at Crawley.

‘I landed at Heathrow about 6.30am and arrived at Crawley’s ground at 9am, thinking I would drop my seat down, put my feet on the dashboard and have a kip in the car for a couple of hours.

Alan Kercher

‘I saw a couple of cars leave and, blow me down, I checked Twitter and it was off. I was sat outside!

‘The last Pompey match I attended was the 4-1 defeat by Oxford United, I went back home to America the next day.

‘I work for a prosthetics based in Basingstoke called Blatchford and come over four times a year for research and development meetings, so I don’t get many opportunities.

‘Normally I return on a Monday or Tuesday when Pompey aren’t playing, but I still manage to see my mum in Southsea.

‘From the age of eight or nine I had a season ticket in the North stand, a row behind a little skinny Johnny Moore, who would wear a blue blazer with patches on the elbows.

‘In the 1980s I was a safety steward in the Milton end and underneath the South stand, then in 1995 had the opportunity to move to the States.

‘Mind you, my boys will be happy the game was called off because they think I am a Jonah. Every time I come over, Pompey don’t win!’

Kercher, who lives between Dayton and Cincinnati, gets his regular Blues fix by listening to the Pompey Player.

It was through Express FM’s Dave Bowers that he managed to secure a Crawley ticket on his latest trip to England.

As it was, he missed out following the intervention of the weather.

Although Kercher is already planning his next visit – April 14 against Plymouth.

He added: ‘I’ve already booked the flight. I’m bringing my missus over and will tie in some work while I am here.’