George going the extra mile to be at St James Park on FridaySOME PEOPLE went to great lengths to get their tickets to see Exeter City host Liverpool in the Third Round of the Emirates FA Cup Third Round, with kick-off now just over twenty-four hours away.
But very few, if any, will have gone to the lengths that George Smith will have done just in order to reach the ground.
George is based in San Diego, California, and began his journey over on Wednesday.
When asked by the club about his impressive commitment, George said: "I am an Exeter native and have been supporting City since the age of twelve - circa the 1994/95 season - back in the days when I believe my season ticket cost fifteen pounds!
"I haven't lived in Exeter since moving to Bristol for University and then London for work, but I continued to get to as many away games as possible (often with the help of Neil Le Milliere and the Exeter Exiles), also always combining trips back to Exeter to see family with home games - to the point where my mum always asked: “who are they playing this weekend?” when I walked through the front door.
"I moved to San Diego two and a half years ago so my wife could be closer to her family, which has made watching City rather tricky! As the there is no MLS team in San Diego I have had to get my live football fix by becoming a season ticket holder at Club Tijuana (or “Xolos”, as they are more commonly known) who play in the Mexican Premier league and whose stadium in Tijuana is just south of the border, about twenty minutes from my house . The only two Exeter games that have been televised since I moved here were the FA Cup First Round matches against Warrington last season and Didcot this season - the latter kicked off at 4am local time here in California!.
"I have been to both of our home FA Cup Third round ties in recent years (Everton in 1999 & Man United in 2005) so wasn’t about to let the 5401-mile trip deter me this time! I have to drive three hours to Los Angeles (in my car, complete with number plate Love U City), then an eleven-hour plane flight to Heathrow, followed by four-hour coach to Exeter. But we have waited eleven years to get to this stage of the FA Cup again so I’m sure it will all be worth it win, lose or draw (although the temptation to try to attend replay at Anfield could lead to some marital problems)!
"My favourite City memories are of course Man United away in 2005 – the away end was just a magical place to be that afternoon and I don’t think I have ever been so nervous as those added minutes. Oxford away in 2007, when Stansfield scored and we went on to win on penalties to reach Wembley for the first time, was a particularly fond memory. It led to a raucous atmosphere amongst the City fans with a spontaneous & seemingly everlasting rendition of the tune to Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire. Beating Argyle at home in 2011, when Vera Lynn bid them farewell and also Hudderfield at home in 2010 when Harley scored to keep us in League One. There are too many non-league away trips to mention!"