Overseas Hull FC supporter Daria Baransky travelled some 3,500 miles to attend Saturday’s ‘BIG Day Out’ clash against Wigan Warriors!
Daria hails from near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but follows has followed Airlie Birds from afar over the course of the last six years.
Having listened to and watched as many matches she could from across the pond, Daria finally made it to the MKM Stadium this weekend to catch Brett Hodgson’s men in action, and was rewarded with a memorable 31-22 victory over the Warriors!
Speaking to hullfc.com, Daria said: “I have a friend from Hull who is a lifelong supporter of the club, and about six years ago she convinced me to watch a game for the first time – it was the Challenge Cup Quarter-Final win over St Helens in 2016.
“It got my attention straight away – I began listening to games on the radio every week, and managed to catch the Challenge Cup Final later that year too. From there on, I was hooked!
“I listen to every game I can on the radio, when I’m at work and can’t listen, I’ll follow the score updates on Twitter.”
She continued: “While it’s strange following a sport that not many people in the United States are aware of, I’m a lifelong American Football fan which I watched every weekend with my dad, and to me, when I started watching Rugby League, it was so recognisable to me due to some similarities between the games.
“I’m still not up to speed on all of the little rules, and the pitch markings for example, but I’m still learning!
“The main difference is the speed – Rugby League is so quick compared to American Football. My dad was a huge American Football fan, and he loved the little sneak and skill plays, and I know if he was still here today, he would have love Rugby League.”
And Daria explained how she planned her entire trip to the UK around the game against Wigan!
“I planned my entire vacation around coming to watch this game.
“I was here back in 2019 but not until September so the season was already over by then, so I promised myself that next time I came over, I’d make sure I watched a game here in Hull. I obviously haven’t been able to do that during the pandemic, so I’m so excited to finally get over here.
“When I looked at the fixture list, I saw the game against Wigan was the last home game for a little while, so I decided that it was the perfect time to come over.”
Daria will be visiting York, Leeds, Edinburgh and London during the time she has left in the UK, but explained that it’s the city of Hull that has captured her heart!
“I love the city – it’s one of the most walkable cities I’ve ever been too. There is all of the history and culture in the Old Town, some brilliant museums, all of the old pubs, the Deep – what’s not to love!
“This city reminds me of home, and I now consider this my home away from home.
“And the people are amazing – I’ve not me a single person who hasn’t been lovely! The people up here in Hull are so much more friendlier than down in London.”