FANS travelling to Colchester United away games this season will face the longest trips of any supporters in the top three divisions.

Only Plymouth Argyle supporters, in the league below, will travel more miles than those following the U’s.

Those who want to make all 23 away League One games will travel 10,308 miles spending more than £1,000 on fuel alone.

The average away day trip is 450 miles – the equivalent of a return trip to Bristol.

And those who want to make a day of it face bills for the season of up to £4,000.

Rob Jeckells, 29, who lives on the St Michael’s Estate with his partner, said: “I have supported them all my life and been going since I was five.

“I try and make all the away matches.

“It is interesting to knowwe will be travelling the furthest but you don’t think of it at the time, you just go.”

Some supporters of other clubs will travel just half these distances with many of the clubs in League One based in the north.

And while Colchester United only boasts a small and select bunch of away day fans – the third smallest in the leagues last season – those whodomake it prove theyare more dedicated than most.

Mr Jeckells said: “I spend about £150 each time but you can do it for £100.

“We like tomake a day of it.

“For Bristol, the average, we will leave at about 8am and get back at about 11pm.

“Obviously the furthest trips take a lot longer.

“I do haveapartner but she knew I did it before we got together, although she isn’t a fan of the late night station pick ups.

“I do have to budget for it and work out each month how many away games there are.

“I enjoy it when there are 700 or 800 there but you also feel part of something when there are 74 of you in Hartlepool on a Tuesday night.”

U’s boss Joe Dunne said: “The one thing we know for sure is that the fans who travel are incredible.

“They’re wonderful people who come to our games, both home and away.

“They do go the extra mile for us, if you like.”

Ticket costs of about £460 a season seem affordable. But add the fuel or train ticket, food and drink for the three meals needed – you can be gone from 6am to midnight – and fans end up spending several thousands.

Is it worth it? The fans who do it every other weekend say it is.

- Match ticket: £20

- Transport: £50-£100 depending on train ticket or fuel

- Food and drink: £25-£50

- Match programme: £5

- Total cost: £100-£175


Plymouth Argyle top the table with 11,653 miles.
- Colchester United: 10,308
- Torquay United: 10,084
- Southend United: 7,800
- Brentford: 6,000 miles
- Derby County: 5,000 miles