Bristol Rovers fan flies 7,000 miles to see first game after following them from ARGENTINA

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bristol rovers fan francisco perez argentina barnsley fundraising memorial stadium

FAN: Francisco has been supporting Rovers from Argentina (Pic: FRANCISCO PEREZ)

Francisco Perez, from Argentina has religiously followed ‘The Gas’ since he was a young boy, despite never even travelling to the UK before.

The 21-year-old will finally get the chance to see Rovers in the flesh thanks to generous fellow fans.

Francisco has made the 7,000 mile trip to watch them in action this Saturday in League One against Barnsley.

It is a dream come true for him to visit the Memorial Stadium and he will greet the crowd from the pitch ahead of kick-off.

“I stumbled across Bristol Rovers and eventually I would only play the game if I was them”

Francisco

Fans put together the money for him to become after hearing he has been a fan since 2005, when he played the computer game FIFA 05.

Francisco said: “It started with playing the console game, FIFA 05, where you have to choose a team, be the manager and try to promote it to the highest level.

“I stumbled across Bristol Rovers and eventually I would only play the game if I was them.

“So my interest was gauged and I investigated the club more and my support for the Gas just grew and grew from that moment.

bristol rovers fan francisco perez argentina barnsley fundraising memorial stadium

FUNDED: Fans have clubbed together for him to travel (Pic: FRANCISCO PEREZ)

Francisco, from the city of Villa Elisa, is also a fan of Argentine giants Boca Juniors but his first love is Bristol Rovers.

He also has a signed number 15 shirt worn by defender James Clarke that was sent by club president Wael al-Qadi.

Francisco continued: “I always say that there are football clubs that are like the first love, you fall in love and you do not forget it anymore.”

He never did expect to one day see Rovers live but it came about thanks to fans Ian Smith and John Kayes.

bristol rovers fan francisco perez argentina barnsley fundraising memorial stadium

ROVERS: Fans celebrating in the stands (Pic: GETTY)

A fundraising page was set up and the target of £1,000 was reached in two days to pay for his flight and accommodation.

Francisco arrived on Monday and will spend the week seeing the city.

Ian Smith said: “I am so glad we could achieve this and want to thank the Gas family for making Francisco’s dream of visiting Bristol come true.

“I went to collect Francisco with my mum, and he was so happy to see us.”

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