When Witham Town travelled to Grays Athletic in the Isthmian League Division One North clash they were backed by just one super fan – James Beardwell.
Beardwell, who has also appeared on Channel 4’s Undateables, made the journey hoping to spur his team onto victory in front of a 192-strong crowd as the only fan in away shed
Beardwell’s on fire…
Chants such as ‘Beardwell’s on fire, your support is very dire’ made him an internet hit, with fans such as Sky Sports presenter Chris Kamara praising him for his efforts.
But for the 34-year-old, born and raised in Witham, it was just another day supporting his beloved team.
“The Witham Town FC team means so much to me and I have shown my passion for the club,” he said.
“There are a few people go to matches home and away matches. But they don’t sing much and I was the only one singing the loudest, to make it sound as though there were hundreds of fans getting behind the team.
“Before the match I was getting ready to get behind the team and preparing my loud singing voice.”
Beardwell, who has autism, said his support was vital, but says he wasn’t left red-faced in any way, also revealing the team were grateful for his backing.
“I didn’t feel embarrassed at all as I was singing loud as possible to create the atmosphere to sound like lots of fans singing for Witham.
“The players and the management team came over to clap and thank me for my loyal support after the final whistle whether we win, lose or draw.”
He also struck a chord with many fans for his unwavering support, including Eastenders actor Jake Wood who praised him on Twitter for his loyal backing. But the mega-fan says he was shocked at the level of support he received.
“I didn’t expect it as many people from the non-league scene know me very well.
“They’re aware of my level of support with lots of loud singing, to make it sound like hundreds, even thousand of fans are getting behind the team.
“It was nice, and I hope we can finish in the top 10 this season.”
Despite his staggering support, James’s Witham heroes went down 4-1 and languish in 17th position in the table.
James is on Twitter @undateables_jb