One of the United Kingdom’s longtime NFL die-hard fans

Posted on October 14, 2019

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Peter Anstock is glad to see American Football finally catching on in London. 

Peter has been a stringent NFL Cincinnati Bengals fan for more than 3 decades and has made the trip across the pond to America to watch NFL Football games since the early 1980’s.

In one interview with George Vogel of WLWT News5 Cincinnati, in 1989.  This noted English, NFL Bengals Fan, Peter Anstock,  from Huddersfield UK, a town about 200 miles north of London, sitting in the crowd at the Super Dome in New Orleans with his longtime friend, Steve Sabo from Cincinnati Ohio. Peter shared his love for the sport.

I spoke to Peter today, some 30 years later after that 1989 interview from his hometown in Huddersfield UK. About the highly anticipated NFL week #6 game between the Carolina Panthers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Pete shared about the increasing fan base across the United Kingdom. And a few challenges with the NFL and the UK’s understanding of American Football.

Long time NFL English Fan Peter Anstock wearing his NFL Bengals shirt from the 2016 UK Wembley game

Peter Anstock, today in 2019, standing in front of his Bengals memorabilia shared one of the issues as he sees it, is that, “Challenges for UK fans – tickets are like hot cakes (difficult to come by) and they are a little bit expensive, although I wouldn’t mind paying the prices to watch the Bengals. I think if I’m watching two teams I don’t follow then its a little more difficult to justify. That being said, my Bengals v Redskins day was a great day out.”

That game Peter is referencing is the NFL game that was held back in 2016 between the Bengals v Redskins.  In the United Kingdom at the Wembley Stadium pictured below.

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Peter states, “The other thing about the matches I have seen is that you lose the home field advantage – the atmosphere could have been better, but obviously all the fans are mixed in equal numbers around the stadium.”

Peter went on to talk about how the viewing and understanding of American Football and  NFL game has developed. “Back in 1989, it used to be on regular free-to-air TV (channel 4) and there was a bit of a cult following- but you never saw anyone wearing merchandise – except for, eh, one guy I used to see wearing a 49ers jacket. I quickly got myself a Bengals jacket and then my brother wanted a Chicago Bears jacket!”  But Peter says that nowadays,

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“Most NFL is now on premium channels (Sky Sports) but we have good (non-live) coverage here now on the BBC with Mark Chapman (UK host) and Osi Umenyiora and Jason Bell – they really do showcase the game really well and as a trio they make great rapport, as well as showing their love of the game. The NFL show on the BBC is one of my favorite programs.”

While being unapologetic for being a die-hard NFL Cincinnati Bengals fan. Peter welcomes the expansion of more NFL teams making their way across the pond to play in London and other parts of the United Kingdom.

Irish Fans of NFL Panthers #84 Efe Obada
As for Efe Obada of the NFL Carolina Panthers player from London? I think that everyone can agree to how his story and rise out of Homelessness and Human Trafficking to the NFL “Star Status” is amazing.  Being drafted and playing Professional Football for the NFL in America and now the United Kingdom. Efe Obada’s strive to uplift himself beyond the dangers of his situation as a child. Efe’s continued humbleness, hard work and story,  this is certainly some inspirational reflections of the reality of us humans, that we need.  Our World community as a whole,  and that people, young and old can learn and benefit from.

Link to my 2018 Charlotte observer newspaper video/story’s:

Panthers’ Efe Obada will get a chance to play in front of his hometown crowd

https://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/nfl/carolina-panthers/article224960875.html

Also

Charlotte police officer is a huge Efe Obada fan

https://www.charlotteobserver.com/latest-news/article222263345.html

Article by Tina Quizon – written on October 13, 2019 posted on October 14, 2019