LIFELONG Northwich Victoria fan Alistair Dawber – the Washington DC correspondent for the Times and Sunday Times newspapers – writes about life following his team from across the pond…

FOLLOWING football, or soccer as people in America insist on calling it, is not easy.

As well as Vics I’m also a Liverpool fan and while there are some bars that show the games, the time difference means that the lunchtime matches that Jurgen Klopp so loathes and calls breakfast starts are more like midnight snack-time kick-offs here.

Following Vics is even harder, but it’s not impossible.

As well as reading match reports on the Northwich Guardian’s website, the club and its fans have done a brilliant job of keeping supporters like me updated on social media.

Northwich Guardian:

Especially important to me is the @NVFCLive Twitter account, which gives real time updates on goals and other incidents during games.

It is brilliantly biased and on several occasions, I’ve shouted out in the middle of a cafe or restaurant when my phone has pinged to tell me the team has scored.

Try explaining to an American that a soccer team named after a 19th century monarch has just taken the lead in the North West Counties Premier Division.

Growing up in Sandiway, Vics were the first proper team I went to see.

The club used to hand out free season tickets to local primary school children and I remember thinking it was like Christmas to get the card, which someone had carefully written out in different coloured pens.

I think, although my memory is a little hazy, that I first saw Vics play at the Drill Field against Boston United in the Conference.

I could not tell you what the final score was, or even what year I first went through the gate, but I was hooked on the game and the club.

The community spirit that persuaded Vics to give away tickets to school children is the same thread that runs through the club today.

The last few years have been tough for the club, which is why those involved in saving it deserve so much credit.

They have done a brilliant, selfless job of not only securing Vics for the present day but also for generations of wide-eyed school children in the future.

Vics are now sadly no longer at the Drill Field, and play at a level much lower than the Conference, but that does not mean that the passion for the club is diminished.

I have not lived in the Northwich area for almost 20 years but have followed the club from afar.

I haven’t been in Britain for months since moving to the US but when I do eventually get home, one of the first things I’ll do is get along to a Vics game.

My Vics scarf hangs proudly in my flat in central Washington and I’ve worn my green and white shirt on the occasions I’ve been to see DC United, Wayne Rooney’s old team here in Washington.

US sport operates on a franchise system and one day DC United could end up being based in a different US city thousands of miles away, but as everyone knows, there will always be a Northwich Victoria in the heart of Cheshire.

Alistair Dawber proudly wears his Vics shirt at a DC United home game

Alistair Dawber proudly wears his Vics shirt at a DC United home game