By Chris Wright
Here’s a little footballing goodwill yarn that’s sure to warm your cockles on this chilly winter’s morn.
A small, hardy band of Krasnodar fans schlepped almost the entire breadth of a continent to watch their side take on Everton at Goodison in the Europa League last night.
Not only were the intrepid 14 fans treated to a 0-1 victory, but also had their impressive commitment rewarded by the hosts – with the Toffees upgrading all 14 of the supporters’ seats to hospitality before the match.
The 3,830-kilometre drive from Krasnodar in Russia to Merseyside reportedly took a whopping 44 hours (apparently flying would have taken even longer given the multiple transfers and stop-overs involved) – though the 14-strong excursion has a lovely treat waiting for them at the other end to help take the edge off things…
14 Krasnodar fans have made the long journey to Goodison so we’ve put them up in an @EvertonOptimum lounge for the game. Enjoy your stay!
— Everton (@Everton) December 11, 2014
Of course, this isn’t the first time Everton have gone above an beyond to reward a fan’s commitment, with the club laying on a VIP experience for Malaysian supporter Ric Wee after he trekked 6,500 miles from Kuala Lumpur to watch his beloved side play Crystal Palace last year only for the game to be called off due to bad weather.