His home is just minutes from McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle. And he lives with a family of Jets supporters.
Meet one of Western United’s most avid, long-distance fans.
Bailey Thompson, 14, from Lambton in Newcastle.
That’s right, Newcastle. Northern NSW!
Over 1000km north of Melbourne, and a 90-minute flight away from Green and Black heartland.
Yet, he is as passionate about the Green and Black as any fan in Footscray, Geelong, Ballarat or Werribee.
Western United caught up with the United super-fan when his beloved Green and Black came to town for a clash against local heroes last Saturday at McDonald Jones.
Sitting in the sun on a baking hot day, Bailey was proudly resplendent in his green and black jersey, scarf, and cap.
The 40 plus degrees wasn’t going to keep this fan away.
Feb 1, 2020, was a day he’d marked in his diary for some time, even if his own family are somewhat bemused by young Bailey’s devotion to Mark Rudan’s side.
“My family rub it into my face when Western United lose but I don’t really care. I mean, just look at the table,” a proud Bailey told www.wufc.com.au at the half-time break.
“We are five spots higher than them! So, I don’t really mind.
“It was a bit weird walking to the ground today and seeing all the Jets fans looking at me. They thought I was from Melbourne. But I love Western United.
“We’ve got superstar players. We’re a new club and we’ve beaten some of the big clubs so far. We’re building. And hopefully we’ll make finals and progress further.”
Bailey explains that with a new team in the A-League, he felt he needed a reset.
And rather than the obvious choice of the Jets, it was United that fitted the bill perfectly for Bailey and a few mates.
“My favourite colour is black, then second favourite is green. I love the colours.
“I got my shirt and scarf from the Western United shop online. It’s a great shop to buy merchandise from.
“I fell in love with the club. Great club. I follow them every week.
“It’s 40 degrees today. I asked my friends to come along, but they said it was too hot.
“I’m just trying to be as dedicated as I can to Western United. So I came along in this heat.”
His devotion to the Green and Black was on display just before Christmas, too.
The 14-year-old traveled the two hours down to Sydney to see his boys play Western Sydney Wanderers.
And it was there, at Bankwest after a thrilling 1-1 draw, his hero Alessandro Diamanti signed his home jersey.
Sadly, the Italian playmaker didn’t play in Newcastle as United earned a point on the road with a 0-0 draw.
“I just love him,” Bailey says, his eyes lighting up at the mention of the talismanic United skipper.
“He’s played for Italy and played in Serie A most of his career. He’s just a good playmaker.
“He’s the best in the league. I love Kone and Berisha too. All superstars.”
We’ll catch up with Bailey in the final round of the season when United play in Newcastle on April 24.
Till then our club knows there’s a part of Newcastle Jets territory that’s firmly green and black.
And the Thompson family will have to put up with their son supporting a team other than Newcastle.
“We’re coming here last game of the season,” said Bailey clearly excited.
“It’ll be great to see, especially if it’s a game that gets us into the finals.
“It should be intense though hopefully we’ve already sealed the deal and are in the finals by then.
“It’ll be great to watch United again.”
And it’ll be great to see Bailey again. One of the A-League’s most devoted and passionate fans.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Western United’s next home game is against Brisbane Roar on Sunday 16 February at Mars Stadium in Ballarat.
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