A few days ago we shared the story of Scott traveling from Australia to see The Pirates take on The Mariners and today we would like to share the story of another Gashead making a long trip to London to see the Gas in action.
Tony Collins will travel 5,843 miles to watch the team he has supported since the age of 8, play at Wembley.
As a youngster Tony watched many a game at Eastville with his brother Dave, but that all changed when in 1991he moved to America with his new wife.
Tony never lost the passion for following his favourite team and always called Dave on a Saturday evening to talk about the game that had taken place earlier that day. The internet also made it easier for him to keep up to date with the latest news at Rovers.
Since moving to El Granada, 25 miles south of San Francisco, Tony has returned home every 2 years to visit family and friends, but this has always been part of the family summer vacation and so he has sadly missed the opportunity to get to a game.
Tony could be found visiting the Gashead Tavern in San Francisco opened by fellow Rovers supporters. He often took along family members to enjoy a beer and chat about the Gas.
Sadly, the Tavern has recently closed but Tony, his son-in-law, Jesse Lee and his mum Kathy Hutchinson-Lee, who have
been converted into supporters, can often been seen around town in their Bristol Rovers tops.
Tony recently travelled to Bristol to see a sick family member and whilst here Dave tried to get tickets for them to see Rovers at Kidderminster, only to find out that the game was a sell out.
Knowing what this meant to the brothers to see a game together, Dave’s partners son George Haskins an avid Bristol City fan, put aside the friendly family rivalry and posted on social media in the hope of getting them some tickets.
Tony and Dave were able to go to their first match together for over 20 years. They managed to fit in one more game, the match against Southport, before Tony returned home.
Attending the games fired up his love for watching Rovers and now he plans to fly from San Francisco to watch the match at Wembley.
Tony will arrive on Saturday in time for the match on Sunday, which he will watch with his brother and 3 friends.
If you, or anyone you know, have to make a long journey to get to Wembley we would love to hear from you, so please contact Keith Brookman or Steve Hood and we will post your story on our website along with any photos you care to share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com