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Long-distance Spireite

12 April 2017

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Loyal supporter Bill Stoppard makes the gruelling journey from Cornwall for most home games to cheer the Spireites on.

Bill has supported the club for 68 years after his father took him to Saltergate when he was living in Clay Cross as a youngster. 

The 73-year-old, who sits in the East Stand, has been a season ticket holder for four years and insists he’s never put off by the long trip.

“It takes me about five hours to get there on a good day,” he said. “I get up at seven o’clock to get ready and leave myself enough time. I tend to drive up and stay over after the games so it does cost a bit, but it’s worth it and it’s something for me to look forward to.”

Bill has only missed a couple of league games this season and even made it to a mid-week game recently. He said: “I struggle to get to Tuesday night games, but I came up for the Peterborough match not long ago so at least I saw some goals.” 

Bill often makes the long trip from Camelford on his own, although he isn’t short of company and is well-known to other supporters in the East Stand. “I travel up on my own but I have a group of friends around my age who sit by me,” he explained. “We’ve all got to know each other and I enjoy their company. One of them is an old school friend of mine from many years ago.”

Even before purchasing his season ticket four years ago, Bill was a regular at the Proact and Saltergate before that. He also tries to get to as many away games as he can as well, despite having other commitments. 

“I used to go as and when I could because I used to have my own business, but since then my wife passed away and I have more free time in terms of work,” he added.  

“I do go to away games, especially down here. I went to Bristol Rovers and Swindon, for example. In the past I’ve been to Newport County, Exeter, Torquay, and Yeovil Town but also further up the country to places like Northampton and sometimes my son will go with me.”

Bill insisted no matter what that he will definitely be renewing his season ticket next season and will continue to make the long trek up the M5, M42 and M1 to get to matches. He also vows to continue buying a copy of the matchday programme.

Thanks for your support and dedication, Bill!

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