Sep 16 2011 by Mike WIlson, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
AN exiled Ayr United fan will make a 23,000 mile round trip to see the Honest Men – and it won’t cost him a penny.
Darren Hill will jet in from New Zealand to watch Ayr play Hearts in the League Cup next Wednesday.
The diehard fan, who hails from Ayr, will fly across the world after winning a wacky competition run by United’s shirt sponsors Bodog.
The betting giant, who were founded by billionaire Calvin Ayre, asked fans to supply a witty caption to a picture of the strip launch.
They said the winner who lives furthest from Somerset Park, wherever in the world they are, would have travel and accommodation paid by Bodog and two tickets to the big game.
Spokesman Ed Pownall said: “We had an entrant from New Zealand and another from Kuala Lumpur so we’re staring down the barrel at an expensive promo!”
Winner Darren, who runs an adventure tourism business in Queenstown, is overjoyed to have won.
Darren, 31, quipped: “I used to be a season ticket holder but haven’t seen an Ayr game for 10 years. My greatest memory is of Andy Walker’s famous chipped penalty against Kilmarnock.
“It’s great to be coming home thanks to Bodog. Bring on Hearts – but first me and the Mrs have a long, long trip from New Zealand.”
Darren, who used to live in Glenconner Road, Forehill, is a former pupil at Kyle Academy.
He said: “Football is not the main sport in New Zealand but I still play for Queenstown Rovers.
“It annoys me that people think because I am Scottish that I must support Celtic or Rangers. I think people all over the world think we have only two teams.”
Former Aberdeen based fan Dave Smith, who is now in Kuala Lumpur, was also in the running for the prize.