Newark Town FC volunteer Joe Bass scoops £1,000 prize as part of Coral's football fan of the year competition
A Newark Town FC volunteer has won £1,000 for his team after being named one of the biggest football fans in the country.
Football fanatic Joe Bass has been crowned as Coral’s fan of the month after sharing his World Cup experiences with the bookmakers as part of their fan of the year competition.
Joe, who can be found manning the turnstiles for Town’s home games, won £1,000 for his story and has donated the winnings to The Blues.
Joe revealed the details of his life-changing trips, which started in 2010 when he followed England’s World Cup journey in South Africa.
He followed it up with trips to Brazil in 2014 and Russia in 2018, travelling alone, as he lived out every football fan’s dream — and nightmare — as he watched his country enjoy a strong run in the World Cup, before bowing out in the semi-final.
“I entered a competition with Coral, the bookmakers, who wanted to hear from the biggest football fans,” said Joe, who works as a window cleaner.
“I explained that I had been travelling abroad watching England and then a couple of weeks later I had a call from a rep saying I had been shortlisted for the monthly award.”
Joe then had an unexpected chat with Alan Shearer, who picked his story as the winner.
He explained his most memorable trip was to Russia where he was finally able to forgive the England team for its past transgressions as they made it to the last four.
During his chat with Coral and Shearer, he explained how he managed to watch all seven England games, visiting six cities in the process.
He travelled 7,594km by air and 6,716km by train.
He said he high-fived at least 80 volunteers, sleeping an average of four hours a night, losing three pairs of glasses, five pairs of socks, a pair of shoes and a box of cornflakes along the way.
The highlights of his trip? Visiting the Mother of Russia monument in Volgograd and Gorky Park in Moscow — and, of course, the penalty shoot-out against Columbia.
Joe was the second of six monthly finalists who will be put forward to a final prize of £10,000.
He plans to take his wife to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup, should he win the grand prize.
“My wife isn’t much of a football fan, but she has expressed an interest in going,” he said.
“When I go away it is usually for four to five weeks at a time, and she never kicks up a fuss with me, so this is almost a thank you to her — and everybody needs to witness a World Cup once in their life.”