Town fans rack up the miles

TRUE blues will spend a combined total of nearly £1.5m and rack up more than 3.2m miles supporting Jim Magilton's men on their travels this season, according to research out today.

TRUE blues will spend a combined total of nearly £1.5m and rack up more than 3.2m miles supporting Jim Magilton's men on their travels this season, according to research out today.

Ipswich Town may be mid-table in the Championship right now, but they are in a play-off position when it comes to the amount of travelling the club's fans have to do to follow their team.

Die-hard Tractor Boys will face a gruelling 3,728 miles driving to all 23 away games this season - the sixth highest in the whole league.

Only Plymouth, Sunderland, Cardiff, Southampton and arch-rivals Norwich will have to go further.

With the number of fans supporting Ipswich away from home averaging 884 so far this year and the estimated cost of following Ipswich all season totalling £1,679, the total cost to Blues supporters comes to a staggering £1,484,236.

And the total mileage accumulated by travelling supporters will be in the region of 3,295,552.

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The figures have been put together by online insurance broker comparethemarket.com, which has estimated that regular away day travellers spend enough money on football to buy various items including:

A pair of Playstations with footy games

An eightieth of Michael Owen's weekly salary

Pair of Predator football boots for two teams and the match day officials

Twenty tickets to England's games at this summer's World Cup

The breakdown of costs include £30 tickets, a £3 programme, £10 on refreshments and £5 on a pre-match bet.

Jeremy Moll, comparethemarkket.com managing director, said: “It's amazing to see how much money the average football fan spends following their favourite team, not just at home, but also for away trips, but many continue to do so ensuring they support their team regardless of expense.

“There are various ways of reducing some of these travel costs, such as car sharing and avoiding expensive motorway petrol stations.”

Is the cost of following Town worth it? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Top of the league:

1 - Plymouth Argyle: 6,056

2 - Sunderland: 5,114

3 - Cardiff City: 4,272

4 - Southampton: 4,027

5 - Norwich City: 3,865

6 - Ipswich Town: 3,728

And the bottom:

19 - Wolves: 2,578

20 - West Bromwich Albion: 2,548

21 - Derby County: 2,526

22 - Leicester City: 2,438

23 - Coventry City: 2,436

24 - Birmingham City: 2,406

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