From gigantic tattoos to around-the-world tickets, truly dedicated football fans will go to any lengths for their team – here in Northampton and further afield.
We’re known for our fans’ dedication, ever since 1992 when the Northampton Town Supporters' trust became the first of its kind to take over a club, but supporters’ love for the beautiful game doesn’t end there.
In August, the world heard how 11-year-old Louis Fowler had knocked himself out and broken his nose running into a lamppost while waving at Liverpool striker Mo Salah. As he ran after Salah’s Bentley when it left the club’s Melwood training ground to try to get the striker to wave back at him, Louis collided with a lamp-post; Salah, who spotted the accident, turned his car around and returned to check on the young fan.
"Even though I have hurt my nose badly, I think it was a good day overall," a grinning Louis told reporters.
Here are some of the other extreme lengths die hard football fans will go to in support of their team:
One Turkish fan was so devoted to Denizlispor FC that he came up with a creative solution after being banned by the club for 12 months: hiring a crane to see over the wall and into the stadium instead.
Photos of his sky-high view went viral on Twitter as fans saluted his efforts and the fact he was clearly determined not to let anything stand in his way when it came to his team.
Under your skin
These days many supporters get the crest of their team inked onto the skin, but there are some who take it a little further.
Leeds supporter Hayden Kershaw, who has been a footie fan since he was five, flew to Amsterdam this year to get an incredibly realistic tattoo of team coach Marcelo Bielsa by artist Auke on his leg; the intricate inking was reported to have taken more than ten hours.
Back in 1998, hardcore fan Rob Kennedy got an eight-inch tattoo of the face of England and Newcastle legend Alan Shearer on his thigh – and Manchester United defender Victor Lindelofand Sweden team-mate John Guidetti recently turned the tables when they tattooed a pair of binoculars onto fan Anders Thornvall by themselves.
Cristiano Ronaldo inspires such a new level of intense fandom that he deserves his own special mention, from the 14-year-old who ended up locked in a police cell in Singapore for invading a pitch for a selfie with his hero, to the fan with a back tattoo featuring the Juventus star's life-sized shirt name and number.
It seems that Ronaldo is no stranger to pitch invaders who regularly run onto the turf to attempt to embrace their hero – and grab a photo – and he even told the team's security guards to let one Manchester United superfan have his pic before he was dragged away.
The perfect gift
If you’re a die-hard Cobblers supporter, there are easier ways to show your love for your football team, like a cool football number plate.
Try combining elements of your favourite team with your initials to make your perfect private registration number with CarReg today.
If your team are playing away, does that ever put you off? A study by travel firm Expedia revealed fans will travel far and wide for their team, with more than two out of three saying they had planned holidays around sporting events at least once, and 47 per cent confessed to changing a holiday booking to ensure they didn’t miss a match.
Their dedication is unquestionable: one in ten fans said they were willing to travel over 11 hours to watch their team in action. Once you are done watching your team play, you can travel around and do a variety of fun activities around the city, such as exploring abandoned places, looking out for parks, or a walk on a nearby beach.
The Expedia survey also showed fans were even willing to lie to their partner or miss family occasions to catch a game overseas.Nearly a third of respondents admitted they had pretended to book a romantic break to actually watch a football match, while 25 per cent said they would miss a birthday to make a game – and just over one in ten would happily skip a wedding.