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Skipton fan flies 11,600 miles to see Bradford City beat Villa
9:00am Friday 18th January 2013 in News
A former Skipton man who travelled from California to watch Bradford City's Capital One Cup semi-final said his 11,600-mile round trip was “worth every penny”.
Procurement manager Philip Ideson, 34, spent £1,500 on a trip from Orange County to Valley Parade to cheer on his team as they beat Premier League side Aston Villa 3-1.
They put themselves within 90 minutes of a historic Wembley final in the first leg of the tie last Tuesday.
The former season ticket holder of 20 years, who grew up in Skipton, decided to book tickets for the clash after watching the Bantams beat Arsenal 3-2 on penalties to book their place in the competition’s semi-finals.
Speaking after the game, he said: “It was worth every penny. The experience was priceless.
“It was so surreal seeing Valley Parade full – I’ve never heard noise like it.
“When we scored the first goal it felt amazing being there to look around and soak up the atmosphere.
“Even if it hadn’t gone our way, just being in that atmosphere would have been worth the trip.”
Mr Ideson, who moved to the States in 2005, flew to Heathrow on Sunday, January 6, and stayed with an Aston Villa-supporting friend in Bristol, before making the trip to Yorkshire. He then stayed with family in the Cross Hills area before flying back on Sunday.
He said he would be disappointed to miss the Bantams’ vital away trip at Villa Park in the second leg later this month, but added: “I’ve booked the day off work. The match begins at 11.45am our time, so I’m going to make a day of it and dress the dogs up in Bradford scarves like I did for the Arsenal game!
“I don't want to tempt fate, but I have taken a look to see if flights are available for the final. It’s looking promising, but I won’t be booking anything until it’s a done deal. A trip to Wembley would be incredible!”
Mr Ideson, who was involved with the supporters trust in the 1990s, said he had been a Bantams fan since he was six or seven.
He was at the ground during the blaze which claimed the life of 56 fans in 1985. “My third game was the fire. We were sat in that stand and managed to get out. We didn’t go back for a while.”