A football fan facing a £400 train ticket to watch Doncaster Rovers got there for £33 by taking a tram, two trains and two flights – but it did take him 11 hours.
Jack Peat, 36, tries to see his hometown team as often as possible since moving to London in 2012, and wanted to see them face Barrow AFC away. Faced with a £389 open return train ticket to Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, he decided to look for alternatives. He managed to get there for £32.70 – but it involved a many-legged journey.
He got a tram from Beckenham Road to East Croydon for £2.50 at 6.45am yesterday morning , and a train from East Croydon to Gatwick Airport for £5.90 at 7.30am. He boarded a flight from Gatwick to Dublin for £10 at 9.30am, and then took another from Dublin to Manchester for €9 (£7.80) at 1.50pm.
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His mammoth 11 hours journey ended with a final train from Manchester Airport to Barrow for £6.50 at 3.30pm. His efforts were rewarded when the team found out and invited him into the dressing room for a pre-match team talk – even though they lost 2-0.
Editor and author Jack, who lives near Crystal Palace in London, said: "I really wanted to watch Doncaster Rovers play Barrow but there was no way I was paying £389 to get there on the train.
"I planned an alternative route to highlight three things – my love for Doncaster Rovers, my eagerness to try the best pies in Britain, and how utterly absurd UK rail fares are. I've followed Doncaster all my life but live down in London now, so I try my best to see them when I can.
"I particularly wanted to go to Barrow because I wax lyrical about it in my book – 'The Great Pie Revolt' – which I wrote based on local recommendations. The last stretch seemed to take absolutely forever but it was a great day out and I managed to squeeze a few beers in before kick off."
Jack made it to Barrow-on-Furness two hours before kick off last night. He ended his long journey with a few well-deserved beers and will be treating himself to a pie from Greens Bakers today.
After Doncaster Rovers saw him detailing his journey on social media, he was even invited to give the team a pep talk before the match and loved meeting the players.
Jack has elected to take an easier – but more expensive – trip home today, but still made a huge saving with the complicated route there. He said: "I'm taking an easier trip home – this was just to prove a point that UK rail fares are extortionate!
"I got asked to do a team talk with the players, went into the dressing room and everything, it was nuts! Apparently, they'd been following the journey online! I'd never met them before so it was amazing.
"This might be the Guinness talking, but I bloody love this club. The journey was definitely worth it – I don't follow them for the wins."
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