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Friday 19 September 2014

No planes, but Luas, trains and automobiles as Munster fan who fears flying heads to game

Brian Byrne

Published 24/04/2014 | 02:30

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Robert Gloster will spend some 25 hours and up to €1,000 travelling to Marseille in the south of France by land and sea before the Heineken Cup match on Sunday afternoon.
Robert Gloster will spend some 25 hours and up to €1,000 travelling to Marseille in the south of France by land and sea before the Heineken Cup match on Sunday afternoon.

A fear of flying won't stop one Munster rugby fan from witnessing the team's semi-final clash against Toulon in France this weekend.

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Robert Gloster (56), from Co Limerick, will spend some 25 hours and up to €1,000 travelling to Marseille in the south of France by land and sea before the Heineken Cup match on Sunday afternoon.

The superfan will leave his home in Corbally, Co Limerick, this afternoon on a train to Heuston Station in Dublin.

He will take the Luas to Busaras and board a bus to Dublin Port, where he will travel by ferry on an overnight journey to Holyhead in Wales.

Mr Gloster, who is a chartered accountant, will take a train to London in the early hours of tomorrow, where he plans to stop for lunch before boarding the Eurostar high-speed train to Paris.

He will then get the TGV train to Marseille on Saturday afternoon, where he will stay overnight ahead of the match.

He estimated that travel expenses alone will set him back €500, while this could rise to €1,000 including accommodation and other expenses.

He said he plans to remain in Marseille until Monday morning, but said he won't be landed with a big bill for entertainment as he does not like to drink alcohol.

The married father of two told the Irish Independent that he has been attending Munster rugby matches since the 1960s and that his teenage daughter thinks he is "a bit mad" for travelling in such an unusual manner.

However, his family have been supportive and have previously flown out to meet him on the day of such matches.

"This will probably be my sixth or seventh trip this way to the south of France," Mr Gloster said.

He added that while his daughter is doing her Leaving Certificate this year, his son plans to catch a plane and watch the match by his side.

As many as 6,000 fans are expected to descend on Marseille over the coming days to support Munster in their clash with French rivals Toulon.

Manager of the Munster Rugby Supporters' Club Jennifer Kiernan said: "We also expect a large number from both the UK and mainland Europe as indicated by members involved in our branches in London and Brussels."

The match takes place at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille at 3.30pm on Sunday.

Irish Independent

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