Britain’s most dedicated football fan completes quest to visit every single league ground while never missing a Stoke City game – for 30 YEARS
Britain’s most dedicated football fan has completed a quest to visit every single UK league ground while never missing a Stoke City game – for 30 YEARS.
Devoted Pete Moran, 53, has visited 134 stadiums across England and Scotland watching a staggering 1,500 football matches.
But the amazing feat has taken so long because the grandfather-of-five has refused to miss his beloved Potters play in a competitive fixture home and away since 1987.
Pete celebrated the end of his mammoth journey when he made an 834 mile round trip to watch Ross County take on Aberdeen last month.
And despite visiting the likes of Old Trafford and Wembley Stadium – the dad-of-two says his favourite grounds have been in Arbroath and Shrewsbury.
Today (Fri) Pete, from Biddulph, Staffs., said: “I used to go to Stoke matches with my dad when I was a lad.
“He used to take me for my birthday and it just went from there.
“When I was a teenager, I went to Scotland for a game and since then I’ve had a fascination with football and with the country. I’d go here and there and with every one
“I’d tick it off my list. It just escalated from there.
“I really love the small old stadiums. Shrewbury’s old Gay Meadow on the River Severn looked really picturesque at night.
“And Arbroath’s stadium is right on the North Sea, its incredible. The linesman gets soaked if its particularly windy.
“I always try to get some memorabilia, so I’ve got quite a bit of stuff now.
“Sometimes I feel a bit selfish, but my wife is really understanding. She comes with me sometimes and we make a little holiday out of it.
“It has taken a long time because I’ve always had to do it around the Stoke matches.”
Not even a strangulated hernia, which left Pete hospitalised, stopped him from seeing Stoke qualify for Europe in 2011 – a match he watched at Wembley with a new row of stitches.
Pete, a training manager at Sainsbury’s, added: “The doctor warned me I might be the first person to explode at Wembley if I went to the game – and he wasn’t kidding.
“There was a nurse on call in the next door block but I was fine. I was so drugged up I can’t remember too much of the game.”
Not content with completing one challenge, Pete has now set himself the goal of watching a match in all 54 countries affiliated with UEFA.
He said: “After I went to Ross County, and the challenge was over, the whole thing felt a bit meaningless.
“I think life is good when you’ve got an aim and there’s so many more things I want to do, so I thought this would be a good one to try.
“I’ve visited a few European cities already because I went when Stoke went on the European tour.
“I’m sure my wife will be fine with it because it means we can have a few more holidays.”
Pete’s supportive wife Jean, 66, admits she has developed a love of football through her husband.
The health care worker said: “I’ve always known Pete was into football and I got into it because I go with him sometimes, if I’m not working.
“We’ve been to Cologne and Malaga and I really enjoyed it. It’s just something that he does.
“I can’t complain if he takes me to nice European places like that – its better than Stoke on a cold Tuesday night.”
Allan Smith, Stoke City supporters’ branch chairman, described Pete as a “true fan”.
He said: “It’s a fantastic achievement. I know he loves his football and he must have taken great satisfaction out of it all.
“I think a lot of people will be envious of what he’s managed to do. I’m just wondering how he found the time.”