It comes as no surprise that Packer fans truly are everywhere.
So when I went to London to study in the spring of 2015, it was quite easy to find other people who love my team as much as I do. It started when I was preparing to leave for my semester away. The Packers had made the playoffs, and it got me thinking about how I was going to keep up with the NFL whilst abroad.
As an avid social media junkie, I took to Twitter in search of my people across the pond. I typed “UK Packers” in the search box and found an account named just that. I followed them and ended up attending their Super Bowl viewing party in central London. There, I met countless Packer fans from around the United Kingdom and Ireland, including my mate, Richard Biddle. I reached out to him to learn more about the UK & Irish Packers Fan Group and how he himself became a fan of the game.
“The story is this,” Richard begins, “At secondary school, I didn’t really have much of an interest in school. I had a really cool electronics teacher who taught Football in the U.S. He used to talk to me about football, and as I started becoming interested he said I should watch a game.” He continues, “He also told me when I found my team I would know. After seeing Favre throwing to Freeman, I was sold.” He went on to explain that this duo, Favre (#4) and Freeman (#86) are what inspired his Twitter handle, @greenbay486.
“Once you start reading into the history you become more interested. It snowballed from there.”
Years of silent fandom went by for Richard until the beginning of the 2014 season when he, much like myself, decided to search for UK Packers fan groups. When he stumbled upon this group, he reached out to the British co-founder of the group, Ryan Peacock, and followed them on Twitter.
“After about a year of contact, they asked me to be a promoter at the start of the 2015 season,” Richard says, “I was thrilled! I was a lonely Packers fan for years, and being part of a group has enabled me to be more involved with other games, sharing the experience. I have made true friends across the pond as a direct result of the group.”
Being the massive Packer fan that he is as well as having made friends across the pond, it’s only natural that Richard has made multiple trips to Titletown.
“I have made three trips to Green Bay, watching four games,” Richard says, “The first two games I went to in 2012 on my own, then the Chargers game during the 2015 season with the group. Then I came back for Brett Favre’s retirement.”
Richard’s love for the Packers goes beyond the game; he loves the city too.
“I love football, American beer and cheese. Green Bay and I were crafted in heaven.”
As for his future with the UK Packers Group, Richard looks forward to spending more time with them in the near future.
“My ultimate goal is to be a part of getting the Packers to acknowledge the group and help the lads unite as many Packers fans as possible.”
The UK & Irish Packers group was co-founded by Ryan Peacock and Stephen O’Brien. Last month, they held their third annual UK Packers Fan Bowl in Regent’s Park and Super Bowl party at Bloomsbury Lanes in London. They have also recently been featured on the Packers website in the short documentary “ Packers Life: Packers Across The Pond ” (in which Richard makes a cameo!).