Italian side on brink of Serie A promotion took one fan to away game this season

An Italian football fan completed a 1,000-plus mile round trip to watch his side – on his own.

FC Sudtirol are pushing for promotion to Serie A this season having only risen from the third tier for the first time in their 49-year history last year. However, only one of their supporters made the mega-long journey to Benevento and back this week.

Damian Gruber showed his dedication for the club by taking two days off work and using a combination of cars and planes to travel from northeast Italy to the south of the country.

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He cut a lonely figure in the away end on Wednesday (March 1) – but it was all worth it as Sudtirol won 2-0 thanks to goals from Luca Belardinelli and Moustapha Cisse, a result which saw them climb to fourth in the table.

Despite the defeat compounding 17th-placed Benevento's relegation fears, the home fans held up a banner recognising Damian's efforts which read: "Honour to those who grind kilometres."

After the match he was applauded by the players, with centre-back Andrea Masiello gifting his shirt to him. Explaining the lengths he went to, Damian said: "I took two days off to make this trip.

What's the furthest you've travelled for an away game? Let us know in the comments section.

"I hired a car to go from Bolzano to Bergamo, then the plane from Bergamo to Naples, and another car from Naples to Benevento.

"I did all the provinces in which Sudtirol played, except Reggio Calabria, because I didn't have enough money. Fortunately, I work for German craftsmen, and they help me a lot in my travels. I have a great boss."

Sudtirol have averaged around 4,000 fans at home games this season but due to their remote location in the mountainous province of South Tyrol, their away attendances are much smaller.

Damian travelled 1,700km, or 1056miles. The longest potential away day in English football is Plymouth to Carlisle, which in comparison clocks in at 778miles.


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