Far Away Fan

Far Away Fan

A podcast about football fans, and their long distance love for clubs at the other end of the world. In each episode, we speak to a guest to understand how and why they ended up dedicating themselves to a football club. But most importantly what it has meant to them, and what it has brought to their lives. Get in touch with us on Twitter @FarAwayFanPod (https://twitter.com/FarAwayFanPod) or on Instagram @FarAwayFanPod (https://www.instagram.com/farawayfanpod/)

25: I wanted to promote Zenit and the Russian league on the island. - David, England - FC Zenit, Russia.
Oct 1 2021
25: I wanted to promote Zenit and the Russian league on the island. - David, England - FC Zenit, Russia.
David is from England. and a fan of FC Zenit, Russia. David’s interest in Russian football with a play by mail league, where he played as Torpedo Moscow. An early adopter of Twitter, how Zenit interacted with their fans on Twitter, and his early memory if of Hulk scoring a mind-blowing free-kick. He’s half English and half Mauritian, he talked to me about his inspiration to start the Twitter handle @FC Zenit Mauritius to promote the club on the island.  He’s got an interesting bunch of teams that he follows. He’s a former West Ham fan, who now supports Leyton Orient, with a soft spot for Sunderland. We went on to discuss club rivals, Spartak Moscow, and his pick for club legend Arshavin. David discussed the Russian Football watching community from across the world that follows the club religiously. Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Kokorin is a player he feels deserves a bit more praise for his time at the club. And Andrei Mostovoy is a young player he’s looking to see more of. I asked him what made him pick Leyton Orient after being disillusioned with West Ham. David’s also got a podcast called The Retro Wet Shaving Podcast with the @dyspraxicshaver  We went on to discuss Dyspraxia, a coordination disorder that David was diagnosed with last year, because of which he can is unable to drive.  He talked to me about his collecting of Kit and programs, once of which is from the 1970’s when Zenit played his hometown team of Southend United.  Do listen to Dave's wonderful response when I ask him what following the club has brought to his life.
24: My grandfather was an admirer of Pele - Pedro, Detroit, USA - Santos FC, Brazil
Aug 31 2021
24: My grandfather was an admirer of Pele - Pedro, Detroit, USA - Santos FC, Brazil
Pedro is from Detroit, USA and a fan of Santos FC, Brazil. In 2006, Pedro had broken his foot. While stuck indoors he discovered the club through a sports encyclopedia his grandfather owned and also watched the World Cup that year, being half Italian, it all seemed to come together to set him down his footballing journey. He started his Twitter handle @SantosFC_Ingles, in part inspired by the Canary and Blue podcast. We discuss Santos’ rivals, and how each of them can be different for each supporter. Pele is Pedro’s pick for club legend. We talk about Pele’s global reach and the cultural phenomenon of Pele. We go on to discuss the popularity of the Brazilian league and the wealth of young talent. And how they have interesting homecomings later on in their careers having moved quite early on in their youth to play in Europe or Asia. Pedro talks me through his cherished collection of kits, one of which is his framed Neymar Barcelona kit. Pedro has studied at Wuhan University. He talked to me about his experience there and his interest in the football culture in that part of the world. One he asked me to check out was the Hong Kong Premier league. He’s been taking pictures in the various cities he has visited with the Santos FC kit and has an interesting story attached to it. We talked about our shared love for podcasts and how he hopes to have one on Santos soon. Do listen to Pedro's wonderful response when I ask him what following the club has brought to his life. We’d love to hear from you, get in touch with us on Twitter @FarAwayFanPod or on Instagram.
23: “The club should mean more than the football”  Samantha and Shawn, Canada - FC St Pauli, Germany.
Jul 31 2021
23: “The club should mean more than the football” Samantha and Shawn, Canada - FC St Pauli, Germany.
Samantha and Shawn are from Canada and are fans of FC St Pauli. Shawn had seen a page in a sports catalog about a team he had never heard of. He was a Liverpool supporter at the time but the skull and crossbones motif made a distinct impression. Years later when he didn’t feel the connection to Liverpool anymore, he recalled the motif, looked up the club on the internet, and read about FC St Pauli and the culture and politics of the club. He started to discuss the club with his fiance Samantha, a Manchester United fan who was disillusioned by the appointment of Jose Mourinho, and they have been on this amazing journey and shared passion for FC St Pauli ever since. They have a podcast called Fell In Love With A Girl: An FC St. Pauli Podcast 7000km Removed We spoke about their trip to the stadium in Hamburg with their friend Nick Davidson who has written a book called about the club called Pirates, Punks & Politics. They talked me through the fantastic culture and fan driven ethos of the club, which you can see in the projects such as Viva Con Agua, the clean water project started by a now retired player and supported by the club. The Levi’s Music School which uses Levi’s corporate suite at the club during non-match days to provide free music lesson to kids in the district.  They shared with me a wonderful and crazy story about a pair of goalkeeper’s gloves signed by Philipp Heerwagen that you have to hear!  We went on to discuss how entertaining Bundesliga’s second division can be with it constantly shuffling week after week,   Listen to their wonderful and heartwarming response when I ask them what following the club has brought to their lives.
22: Believe me, you can achieve it. Just like Leeds. Alex, Indonesia - Leeds United FC, England
Jun 30 2021
22: Believe me, you can achieve it. Just like Leeds. Alex, Indonesia - Leeds United FC, England
He’s been a Leeds fan since the early 2000s when they reached the then UEFA CUP. He’s seen them go down and come back up after 16 years. He fell in love with Leeds in the early days when they faced teams in Europe like Real Madrid and Lazio. We talked about the impact Marcelo Bielsa has had and how Leeds is now a second team to so many. We talk about the young players in the team like Pascal Struijk and Illan Meslier.  He talked to me about how things have changed, and how Leeds is no longer a club that needs to sell their best players. He’s confident that Leeds could soon be competing with the Big 6 in the Premier League. Alex used to work as a Football Journalist for a few years, he spoke to me about his experiences during this time. We discussed his hopes for Indonesian Football and when possibly supporters could be back in the stadium. He now works as a tour guide in Indonesia and posts the most beautiful images of the Islands of Indonesia. While Alex has been affected by the pandemic, he still considers himself fortunate to still be working at this time. He explained to me the work he has been doing to help promote tourism in a few islands that were affected by the pandemic. He also has some interesting recommendations for people looking to visit Indonesia. Finally I ask Alex, what it means to him following Leeds United Football club. Visit www.AlexJourney.id or you can get in touch with him on Instagram @AlexJourney.id
20: I identify with them so much, it's a connection much more than football. - Alberto Doblaré, Zaragoza, Spain - FC Union Berlin, Germany
Mar 28 2021
20: I identify with them so much, it's a connection much more than football. - Alberto Doblaré, Zaragoza, Spain - FC Union Berlin, Germany
Alberto Doblaré is from Zaragoza, Spain and is a fan of FC Union Berlin, Germany Alberto has lived in Berlin for a few years. One day a colleague told him they should check out a game of this club in the second division. The experience was something he had was looking for in the city. He moved back to Zaragoza and promised himself to start a Twitter account in Spanish, dedicated to the team if they came to the First Division. His handle is @fcunion_es, he doesn’t just discuss football but also the history and context around it. He puts up some amazing threads and has fantastic interactions with people around the world.  He has been a lifelong Zaragosa and Barcelona Fan, but in the last few years, he felt his passion change. Union Berlin helped him reconnect with football.  He is part of a Union Berlin podcast in Spanish, with a fellow fan Julio originally from Brazil and now lives in Amsterdam. They talk about Berlin and about fan-owned clubs. He gave me a bit of the history of Union Berlin, and how they were rebels of the system in East Germany, what the club now represents and more importantly why the fans are so protective and proud of the club and its achievements.  Their historical rivals are Dynamo Berlin but today it would be RB Leipzig, both for very different reasons. Malick Sonogo is a young player Alberto is hoping to see more of. We discuss the expectations for a club like Union Berlin in the Bundesliga.  Alberto told me about his favourite matchday experiences, one in particular with Irish fans at the Euro cup is extremely heartwarming. He likes to collect football scarves, he calls them a diary, each associated with a particular memory or person.  He spoke to me about his family and how he finds it funny that his parents are now watching Union Berlin. And a very romantic story of why Berlin is so important to him. I finally ask him what being a Union Berlin fan has brought to his life and what it means to him We’d love to hear from you, get in touch with us on Twitter @FarAwayFanPod or on Instagram.
19: You get a sense of community, that the world is not as big as you think- Richard Kharman, USA - Schalke, Germany
Feb 27 2021
19: You get a sense of community, that the world is not as big as you think- Richard Kharman, USA - Schalke, Germany
Richard Kharman is from Maryland, USA and a fan of Schalke, Germany. Richard happened to watch a game on TV in 2003, and was just impressed by the Schalke fans and has been following the club ever since. And a few years ago he started the SchalkeAmerica Podcast, the only English podcast for Schalke with listeners from over 100 countries. We talked about the Club legends that made Richard fall in love with the club. Huntelaar and Kolasinac, have just returned to the club in an effort to save them from relegation, we talk about the sense of community and family around Schalke. Jefferson Farfán and Lincoln are players who Richard feels deserve a lot more praise. Schalke has a history of developing young players. Ahmed Kutucu, Malick Thiaw, Timo Becker, Can Bozdoğan, Matthew Hoppe are the players Richard is looking forward to seeing more of. We talk about the popularity of the Bundesliga in America and the great job the teams are doing to reach out to the fans.  We discuss the young American players and how the league is seen as one that can help develop these players. Evan Rotundo is one he says we should watch out for in the future. We discussed Klopp’s influence, and what that has meant for other Bundesliga coaches. We also discussed his local team, DC United and Major League Soccer and how the league is growing steadily over the years. He’s also an AC Milan fan, he told me how he’s always been fascinated by all things Italian. He also hosts the Seria A Sitdown.  He has fond memories of visiting San Siro. He told how he met Clarence Seedorf in DC, not by accident. While Milan is doing well, he jokes that he likes to support clubs that give him heartache. I finally ask him what being a fan has brought to his life. We’d love to hear from you, get in touch with us on Twitter @FarAwayFanPod or on Instagram.
16: I always try to find the connections between Southampton and Argentina - Francisco Fourcade, Argentina - Southampton FC, England
Jan 3 2021
16: I always try to find the connections between Southampton and Argentina - Francisco Fourcade, Argentina - Southampton FC, England
Fransisco Fourcade is from Buenos Aires, Argentina and is a supporter of Southampton FC, England. We began by speaking about Diego Maradona and the cultural impact he had across the world, not just in football. Francisco started following Southampton for a bunch of different reasons, starting with him being the manager of a play by mail league and having to fill the slot for Southampton. As his passion for the team increased, Trevor Foy of Global Saints and journalist Sebastian Garcia (a QPR fan from Argentina, do check out his beautiful journey here) urged him to start a fan account for Southampton. So in 2014, he started the @SaintsArg Twitter account.  We went on to talk about ‘Casa Fourcade’, the store his family has owned since 1956 where Fransisco continues to work today. We discussed the history of Southampton FC. Francisco is passionate about finding the connections between Argentina and Southampton. He has a matchday program from 1956 between Southampton and San Lorenzo. He told me about the connections he has developed as well, with his friend Dex in Southampton and how he’s come to call the city his home away from home. He wants to take his mother to Southampton some day. Francisco has even been invited a couple of times to the British Embassy in Argentina. We discussed managers Ralph Hasenhüttl, Mauricio Pochettino and Marcelo Bielsa. Francisco showed me a FC Goa kit. (from my home state!) It is one of the 2000 kits he owns. We both complained about the post and customs when it comes to getting kits. He tried to explain to me the erratic nature of the Argentine league. And finally, I ask him what it has meant to him to be a Southampton fan. We’d love to hear from you, get in touch with us on Twitter @FarAwayFanPod or on Instagram.
15: "Omuroma, it means one who supports Roma" - Kelly Keith, Uganda - A.S. Roma, Italy
Dec 16 2020
15: "Omuroma, it means one who supports Roma" - Kelly Keith, Uganda - A.S. Roma, Italy
Kelly Keith is from Kampala, Uganda and is a passionate AS Roma fan. Keith was a Manchester United fan because of his family. He started to watch Roma on television and liked the way they played. So he started to choose them as his team on FIFA. His passion for Roma has grown over the years as he continued to play the game. He went on to tell me about how the Italian fans and their passion are one of the many reasons he loves the team.  While we talked about the rivalries with Lazio and Juventus,  he now considers Barcelona a rival as well after the Champions League game of 2018. We had to talk about that amazing game and his experience of watching it with a group of 120 people.  From among his list of legends, he wishes he had the chance to see Francesco Totti. Danielle De Rossi, Eden Dzeko and El Shaarawy are on his list. Antonio Mirante is one of the  players he feels deserves more praise and Justin Kluivert is the young player he is hoping to see more of.  He told me a story about how he was among  a few International fans to receive a T-shirt from the club, in fact he has a set of jerseys’ enough to celebrate a ‘Roma week’. ‘Omuroma’ is his nickname, he explained to me what it means in Bantu and how it came about. Finally I ask him what it has meant to him to be a Roma fan. NOTE: We ran into some connectivity issues while recording which is why the audio quality suffered a bit, but  it clears up halfway through. Thanks for listening. We’d love to hear from you, get in touch with us on Twitter @FarAwayFanPod or on Instagram.
14: "Young kids were saying, can I take a selfie with you" - Marius Helgå, Oslo, Norway - Gimnàstic de Tarragona, Spain.
Nov 28 2020
14: "Young kids were saying, can I take a selfie with you" - Marius Helgå, Oslo, Norway - Gimnàstic de Tarragona, Spain.
Marius Helgå is from Oslo, Norway and is a supporter of Gimnàstic de Tarragona, Spain. Marius is a union representative and plays the bass trombone in his spare time. In 2006, he was visiting Spain with a band and visited the city of Tarragona. He fell in love with the city and decided to start following the club. He runs the twitter handle @NasticNoruega. The team currently plays in the third division of Spain.  He is hoping they come back to the Segunda Division, where you can watch the games on YouTube. His club legend is the Swedish player, Tobias Grahn, and a player he feels deserved a bit more praise from his time at the club is Manolo Reina, who now plays for Mallorca. In Norway, he follows Tromsø IL. In 2015, he was holding a giant flag in some crazy weather, the camera picked up his struggle. The clip went viral and even today Marius gets recognised at games across Norway! Tromsø is the northernmost professional club in the world. Marius told me about a fascinating game from the 1997 Cup Winners Cup where Tromsø played Chelsea on a pitch that was completely covered in snow. Marius is a groundhopper, and has visited 11 countries. The most exotic he says has been his visits to Romania with Football in Heaven. Check out his blog, where he documents his groundhopping. At the end of the show you will hear Marius on bass trombone playing a medley of football songs We’d love to hear from you, get in touch with us on Twitter @FarAwayFanPod or on Instagram.
12: Martin Devlin, Inverness, Scotland - Real Valladolid, Spain
Sep 6 2020
12: Martin Devlin, Inverness, Scotland - Real Valladolid, Spain
Martin Devlin is from Inverness, Scotland and is a supporter of Real Valladolid, Spain. Marti first got to see the club when Real Valladolid came to visit his town for a pre-season friendly. He was struck by how approachable and down to earth, the players were. He started to research the club and interact with fans online and was welcomed with open arms, he started the site pucelaescocia.com for English speaking fans to be able to share his passion for the club. I asked Martin how the fan base view the new owner, the Brazillian legend Ronaldo and the long term project that he has undertaken. He spoke to me about Real Valladolid club legend, Víctor Fernández Enes Ünal is a player he feels deserves a bit for praise for his time at the club. Miguel de la Fuente is a young player he is looking to see more of. He has a brilliant story about a suitcase from his first trip to Valladolid and another one about his garden shed that you must hear. We spoke about the aspects of being a Far Away Fan, the common threads that bring us all together.  Marti shared with me stories about his father, a Real Madrid fan (who sadly passed away a few days after we recorded this episode) and his experience watching Real Madrid. He told me a story that will bring a tear to your eye, about what he calls one of the best moments of his life. The passion for football runs in this family, Martin's young son is a Spurs fan. We discussed his growing passion for football and the club. (He makes a very special cameo in this episode) We spoke at length about the friendships he’s developed through his passion for the club. He shared with me stories about his friend Carlos and the role they now play in each other’s lives. Martin is working on something really special that could get a child to be able to watch a match in the stadium and get a complete matchday experience. I asked him about his journey as a Real Valladolid fan. He told me it has been a humbling experience and a phenomenal journey. He views it as his responsibility to share the kindness that he has been shown by the people and fans and by sharing his passion for the club through all that he is doing on his website.   We’d love to hear from you, get in touch with us on Twitter @FarAwayFanPod or on Instagram.
11: "To me it is like finding a family, a far away family" - Angelica Carrillo, Mexico - Queen Park Rangers, London
Aug 16 2020
11: "To me it is like finding a family, a far away family" - Angelica Carrillo, Mexico - Queen Park Rangers, London
In this episode I speak to Angelica, a University Professor who teaches Film Analysis and Journalism in Mexico.  Angelica read in an interview Robert Smith of The Cure, talking about being a QPR supporter. Not knowing anything about the club at the time, she asked her father about it. "That's Alan McDonald's team," he said. With that she started to research the club and its history and began to follow them. Never thinking that she could ever watch them.  She discovered the QPR Podcast - Open all R's, which was the first time she felt very much a part of the QPR Family. Not able to watch the games, but following the club via the podcast.  She immersed herself in the history of the club and developed a deep passion for the club. Visiting London in 2017 to watch them play. Initially disappointed when the team went down to the Championship, Angelica is now happy with how competitive the league is. Her earliest memory of football is being placed in front of the TV by her mum to watch the 1986 World Cup and told me how crazy she has been about football ever since. Alan Mcdonald and Stan Bowles are her club legends. She talked to me about players Jamie Mackie, who missed out on being called a legend and how Josh Scowen, deserved a bit more praise for his time at the club. We also talked about the young players at the club, Ilias chair and Eberechi Eze. The QPR ground was always known as Loftus Road. In 2019 it was renamed The Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium. A foundation started to honor former QPR youth player Kiyan Prince, who lost his life while intervening to prevent the bullying of another boy. We discussed the renaming, the role the club has played in the community, and their support to the victims of Grenfell Tower fire. She got to experience first hand how QPR appreciate their fans, when she was invited to spend the day at the training ground. She told me all about that day and the cherished friendships she has with the QPR family. We discuss her collection of over 50 scarves, a funny story with James Walsh of Starsailor and her connection to Northern Ireland and her dream of wanting to live there one day. Angelica shares the heartwarming story of her journey as a QPR fan, having been able to find a community to belong to, being able to share her interests with a far away family and developing the most rewarding friendship. Visit FarAwayFan.com to know more. We’d love to hear from you, get in touch with us on Twitter @FarAwayFanPod or on Instagram.
10: Jamie Ralph, Galway, Ireland - Newell's Old Boys
Aug 2 2020
10: Jamie Ralph, Galway, Ireland - Newell's Old Boys
His journey started in the most unique way. He's been a Tottenham Hotspur fan from the age of six. Jamie heard Mauricio Pochettino (then Spurs manager) in an interview say that he was ready for his first North London Derby since he had played and scored in the Clásico Rosarino for Newell’s Old Boys. That piqued Jamie’s interest. He researched the club and the derby, ultimately leading him to follow the club for close to 5 years now. He started the twitter handle @Newells_en and NewellsCarajo.com for updates on the club in English. Jamie took me through the history of the club. How they came to be called the Lepers and their rivalry with Rosario Central. He went on goes on to explain to me the campaign of the ‘Returning Hero’ in Argentine football. Messi got his start at Newell's, and has always said he will return to play for them someday. He discussed a few names that he's looking forward to seeing in the years to come and the joy of getting to watch future stars in action when you watch Argentine football.  Lisandro Martínez, now at Ajax, is the player Jamie feels deserves a bit more praise and time at Newell's. He spoke to me about his trip to Rosario, the matchday experience, Maradona and being blamed for bringing the luck of the Irish to Newell’s. We discussed former coach Marcelo Bielsa, now hailed as a hero at Leeds United, for bringing them back to the Premier League and how thousands of Leeds fans are now being introduced to Newell's because of him. Much like Jamie was through Pochettino. I got a chance to discuss with Jamie the common traits and personalities of Bielsa, Messi and Pochettino. And finally I asked Jamie what this journey has meant to him, he considers himself blessed to have made all these friendships and lucky to call himself a ‘Leper’ now. And would like to someday get the chance to thank Pochettino for introducing him to the club.
8: "It means everything to me" - William Dalton, London – San Lorenzo
Jun 28 2020
8: "It means everything to me" - William Dalton, London – San Lorenzo
William Dalton is from London and has been a supporter of San Lorenzo for 7 years. He discovered the club while looking to spend some time in South America to learn Spanish, after his trip where he just immersed himself into the club and the culture, he started the twitter handle @SanLorenzoEng on his return to London. His club legend is local boy Leandro Romagnoli, William talked about why being a local boy means so much in Argentina. We discussed why loyalty from players means so much as football fans. San Lorenzo are well known for their songs. William shared a few with me and spoke about the creativity that goes into the chants and songs created by a group called  'Escuela de tablones' (School of the Terraces).  We talked about how big the Club World Cup is in South America. Where fans will take out loans, in some cases selling their cars or even quitting their jobs just to be able to travel to the games. One of the reasons Will was so drawn to the club is because much like his local club Charlton Athletic, San Lorenzo too lost their ground in the 70s. While Charlton eventually got their club back through a unique political campaign, San Lorenzo is at the moment in the midst of trying to get back to their old stadium. Part of which was a great campaign where San Lorenzo fans could buy a symbolic meter square of the ground where the stadium once stood.    Will told me fantastic stories about finding a fellow San Lorenzo fan on the streets of London, the incredible generosity of the San Lorenzo fans and his little collection of gifts and mementos from them. He says that his journey with San Lorenzo has impacted his life in a big way. It helped him learn Spanish. In what he calls the best weekend of his life, he saw them win and met Lili, who would go on to be his wife. He says following San Lorenzo has been the best decision he has ever made. We’d love to hear from you about your journey with a football club, get in touch with us on Twitter @FarAwayFanPod or on Instagram.