British Blue Bombers superfan makes trip over the pond for Banjo Bowl

Winnipeg Blue Bombers super fan Frank Horsley flew to Winnipeg from his home in Nottingham, England to watch his favourite CFL team take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the 2019 Banjo Bowl.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more dedicated Blue Bombers fan than Frank Horsley.

After bleeding blue and gold from his home in Nottingham, England for the last year, the British superfan has flown halfway around the world to be in Winnipeg for this weekend’s Banjo Bowl.

“It’s cost me quite a bit of money, but it’s worth it,” Horsley, decked out in Bombers gear, told Global News on Friday.

“You’ve got to do these things in life. I’m 51 now and you can’t put these things off.”

Horsley says his love affair with the Bombers and the CFL started after he decided American football just wasn’t his cup of tea.

“To be honest, I think CFL is a better game than the National Football League,” he said, less than a day after his more than 20-hour flight over the pond for the big game.

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“It’s quicker… It’s more like rugby in the U.K. — it’s just a better game.

“And you never know who’s going to win — it goes down to the last minute.”

But why the Winnipeg Blue Bombers?

Horsley says that’s a question he’s been getting a lot since arriving in the city.

Turns out, he’s a fan of underdogs.

“I think it’s got something to do with the fact that they haven’t won the Grey Cup in about 30 years — I like that,” he laughs.

“I like the uniform too — I look good in blue — and the fans there at Investors Group Field looked pretty cool.”

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Horsley, who wakes up in the middle of the night in England to watch Winnipeg games live, says there aren’t many other CFL fans in the U.K., and he may well be the only Bombers fan.

He is one of around 100 U.K. fans of the CFL in an online group he’s part of, and admits to catching some slack from his mates for his love of the blue and gold.

“Most people are into NFL and they sort of look at you strange when you say Canadian football is better, but I don’t care — it is better and I keep telling them that,” he said.

“One day they’ll learn to watch the real game, and that’s the CFL.”

The Banjo Bowl kicks off at 3 p.m. at IG Field Saturday.

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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