June 8, 2018 / 12:14 PM / 4 months ago

Polish superfan, 78, heads to his 11th World Cup

WARSAW (Reuters) - Dressed in a patriotic red and white suit and a golden crown adorned with small footballs, Andrzej Bobowski is getting ready to attend his 11th soccer World Cup.

The 78-year-old Poland fan has been to every World Cup since 1978 — even when his own national team did not qualify.

There are no such worries this time, though. “I actually dreamt that we’ll play in the final against Russia,” he said.

“I’m going to attend the first match with Senegal at Spartak stadium. Then I fly to Kazan ... then to Volgograd.”

Well-known at home as “king of Polish fans”, Bobowski, nicknamed Bobo, said he had been told by fans he has met at previous tournaments to expect a “royal welcome” in Kazan.

The former builder, who also supports the Polish club champions Legia Warszawa, has seen 135 World Cup games since he headed to Argentina in 1978 with a ticket bought by his wife.

Andrzej "Bobo" Bobowski, known as "the King of Polish fans" speaks at his apartment in Warsaw, Poland June 6, 2018. Picture taken June 6, 2018. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Since then, he has married again - and even at 78, does not baulk at making the complex travel arrangements for two people.

“I worked out my routes using the internet: first - where I land, second - the hotel, third - how to get to the stadium from the hotel.”

The outfits are already prepared.

For day wear, he has a T-shirt with the contest’s emblem on the front and a list of all the World Cups he has attended on the back - with a question mark for Qatar in 2022.

For the matches, he will wear an appropriately regal coat in Poland’s red-and-white, with its white-eagle crest on the back. The coat, made by a local theatre company, has a white furry collar and cuffs with a motif of small footballs.

Under the coat will be a white tail-coat, red shirt, red bow tie and red trousers.

And on his head, above the mandatory scarf, a soft golden crown, decorated with badges from the tournaments he has attended, and emblazoned with the slogan “King of Polish fans”.

Slideshow (11 Images)

Reporting By Reuters Television; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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