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Saints get great support from Gambia

Saints supporter Hassan with Marcus.

Saints supporter Hassan with Marcus.

First published in Sport

HE IS arguably one of Saints’ most fanatical supporters.

The walls of his tailor’s shop are covered in club scarves and memorabilia, he is the president of a growing supporters’ club, and the boys’ football team he coaches is even called Southampton Football Club.

But what makes this all so remarkable is that Hassan has done it all from his home – 3,000 miles away in The Gambia.

His love for the club was uncovered five years ago by a fellow fan Neil Reeves, 62, shortly after he moved to the African country.

His son, Marcus, 36, now makes regular visits to the country, along with brothers Louis and Dan.

And he says they look forward to seeing Hassan and the growing supporters’ club whenever they make the journey.

“He’s absolutely obsessed with Saints,” said Marcus. pictured left with Hassan.

“He listens to our games on the World Service and was doing so even when we were in League One.

“My dad was so happy to meet a fellow Saints fan out there. Hassan has generated so much interest in the club and it makes you proud to support the club when you see the following they have even in countries like this.”

Marcus now hopes Saints can complete their Charge for the Premier League, so that Hassan and The Gambian Saints Supporters’ Club can watch more of their games.

And he is also appealing for fellow Saints fans to donate their old replica shirts, so that the Southampton Football Club in The Gambia can be kitted out in the famous red and white stripes worn by their more illustrious namesakes.

* Anyone who can donate their old shirts should email Marcus on marcusribs@ hotmail.com.

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