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Pete's Poles Apart From His Beloved Clarets

5 August 2015

Meet arguably our most distant supporter...

Clarets fans are everywhere!

But our guess is that few follow the daily fortunes of the club from afar as Pete Smith.

For as the new season gets ready to kick off this weekend, the lifelong Clarets fan is itching to keep up to date with all things Claret and Blue... despite being based in Antarctica!

Pete Smith is currently spending 18-months at the southern outpost working as an electrical service technician for the British Antarctic Survey, at the Halley 6 Research Base on the Brunt Ice Shelf.

And although it’s a long, long way from Turf Moor, we spoke to the former Burnley Grammar School student about his passion for the club.

Pete, who remembers Clarets Chairman Mike Garlick from his schooldays, said: “I grew up in Burnley and it is still home! I have been a lifelong supporter, and started going to matches in the early 1970's. At that time there was just waste ground down one side of the pitch as the Bob Lord stand hadn't been built.

“Most of my memories of that time are of the 1974 season and standing in the Bee Hole End. The team at that time consisted of the likes of Martin Dobson, Peter Noble and Paul Fletcher to name a few.

“I have to say that my favourite memory is much more recent though and has to be the 2009 Championship Play-Off final and promotion to the Premier League.

I think we won a lot more fans that year due to the way we played, with a determination and passion that seemed to be lacking in the top teams of the top flight.”

Life following the Clarets 9,000 miles away can be testing at times, with limited Internet broadband bandwidth.

He explained: “Here in Antarctica we have access to the internet via a satellite link.

“It does mean that we have email but any websites that depend heavily on graphics are difficult to access as our bandwidth is only 256k for the entire station.

“It does make keeping up with matchday results difficult at times but we manage ok!”

Pete, who is on his second visit to the Halley 6 base, is tasked with ensuring the Winter team have power, lighting and heating.

He added: “All our power here is created using four generators housed in the modules on base. We are totally cut off from the rest of the world here and have to be self-sufficient.

“During the winter months, access to the base is impossible and our nearest neighbours here on the ice is the German Neumeyer Station, which is 760Km away.”

Pete plans to return home in Easter, 2016, by which time he hopes a promotion push will be well and truly in progress!

Why not tell us about your support from afar?

Overseas-based Burnley fans are being asked to ‘Stand Up & Be Counted’ for the Clarets by registering here, with those who register being given the chance to win a trip to come and see us play!

The campaign has been launched by The Football League for all 72 clubs, and asks fans to register their country and city of residence to show their support of their club. 

The site includes an overall leader board so fans can see where our global fan base ranks compared to the other 71 Football League clubs, as well as a map displaying where in the world our fans are from.

By registering their support for a club, fans have the chance to enter a prize draw to win a trip for two to the United Kingdom, including flights, accommodation and match tickets to see their team play.

Register now at

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