THEY are a tiny non-league club in County Durham, but now Tow Law Town are famous in Italy.
It comes after football fanatic Davide Stefano travelled 1,000 miles to the North East to see the black-and-whites in action.
Davide, a 40-year-old bus driver from Genoa, Northern Italy, travels at least once a season to join the 60 or so fellow diehards who follow the fortunes of The Lawyers, as they are known, at the Ironworks Road Ground.
Davide’s loyalty to the team hit the headlines following one visit and this was picked up via the internet by an Italian journalist and published in a newspaper in Genoa.
And last night he appeared on Italian TV discussing his unlikely passion for a football club whose home ground 1,000 feet above sea level is widely claimed to be the coldest in England.
Davide said: “Now I have appeared on the regional TV programme on Telegenova, about 90,000 people will know about Tow Law football club. They will be famous in Italy!
“A journalist from the local newspaper in Genoa phoned me out of the blue recently to ask about myself and Tow Law. He had read the article in the Newcastle newspaper and liked it.
“On Sunday I go on a sports show with Sampdoria and Genoa supporters – the two big clubs in Genoa – to talk about my team, Tow Law Town.”
Davide explained his interest by saying: “I read about the club’s history, how they had beaten Mansfield Town, of the then third division, 5-1 in the FA Cup in 1967. It captured my imagination.”
He began corresponding by email with Tow Law secretary Steve Moralee, who sent him a Tow Law football top which he has been pictured proudly wearing on a visit to the Italian capital Rome.
Despite failing to see Tow Law win during his visits so far, he said: “I enjoy visiting – the people are very friendly.”
Tow Law secretary Steve Moralee admitted he thought it was “a wind up” when he first received an email from Genoa a couple of years ago.
He said: “Apparently Davide is trying to start a Tow Law fan club in Genoa. He persuaded one of his pals to come to a couple of our games, then he came over again with his girlfriend.
“With a bit of luck Davide may bring a plane load of fans over next time and double our home gate!”