Port Vale’s win over Shrewsbury Town made sure it was a satisfying afternoon for players, staff and fans but for one supporter in particular it made the whole weekend worthwhile.
Watching the game from the comfort of Vale Park’s President seating area having enjoyed a full three-course meal in the Chris Bayley Lounge was Tomas Silfver.
Tomas isn’t your typical Vale fan, though. Whenever he wants to watch the Valiants he has to travel over 1,000 miles to do so.
Born and raised in Sweden, the 55-year-old fell in love with the club in 1973, when Vale took on West Ham United in the FA Cup.
Since then he’s gone through all the highs and lows of promotion, relegation and cup glory but he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I wanted to support a team that wasn’t one of the fashionable teams,” Tomas told port-vale.co.uk.
“I wanted to support one of the smaller teams and it became Port Vale.
“It has been kind of hard but then again it’s a lot more fun to support a team like Port Vale. If you support one of the bigger teams if you don’t win the league it’s a bad season.”
Not only is Tomas an avid Port Vale fan, he’s also put money into the club by sponsoring local player Chris Birchall.
He met the winger prior to Saturday’s game and explained his reasons for picking the 31-year-old.
He continued: “I can’t be a season ticket holder since I live in Sweden and I wanted to support the team another way.
“I thought it was a good way to sponsor a player and since I come from Sweden and he [Chris] played against Sweden in the World Cup in 2006 I thought he was a good player to sponsor.”
Tomas can only attend one or two Vale matches each season so when he can make time to visit, he ensures he does so in style by booking into hospitality.
And he gave high praise to the club’s facilities, saying: “The hospitality here is much better than when you go to games in Sweden.
“There are a lot more benefits that you can have, for example sitting in the Presidents area and having a meal before the game inside the stadium.
“You can’t find that in many stadiums in Sweden.”