SOUTH Wales? Not a problem. Oxford? Gloucestershire? Hemel Hempstead? Nah, not a problem.

Ah but Toulouse? Surely that's a problem? Nah, it's not a problem.

York City Knights may have travelled to some far-flung new places in recent years, given League One's expansion away from the traditional rugby league heartlands in the north, but that hasn't stopped one fan attending every single time to maintain a proud record.

Knights mad Andy Gomersall hasn't missed a York match, home or away, league game, cup tie or friendly, since November 1998 - over 17 and a half years ago.

He'll be in the south of France today, too, as James Ford's men take on money-men Toulouse Olympique in their top-of-the-table clash, and he's ready to go again in the coming weeks should they go back there in the Super 8s as expected.

What's more, he's even tapped up family friends in Canada, too, just in case the Knights don't get the promotion they desire and end up having to travel to Toronto next year - the Rugby Football League in their wisdom having accepted the new North American club into League One for 2017, following on from Toulouse's readmittance this year.

"I've been to London, South Wales, France, everywhere really," said Andy, 67, those previous French trips having been to Toulouse for a Championship match in 2011 and Perpignan for a Challenge Cup tie against Catalans Dragons in 2013.

"It's a different stadium in Toulouse this year to when we last played there, so there you go. It's somewhere new again."

Andy's proud record coincided with his 50th birthday, when he retired as an engineer for Shell.

That job, working in offshore oil, had sent him around the world and meant he had to miss games.

"I still saw several a season," he pointed out. "Alternatively I'd get a phone call in the middle of the Mexican Gulf with people telling me the scores.

"I actually can't remember which was the first game (of this 17-and-a-half-year run of games). I don't think it was a particularly significant one, though."

York-born Andy, 67, who now lives in Barmby Moor, began going to York games as a child - an unborn child.

"I was none - in the minus, in fact," he laughed when asked about his first-ever game. "I was first here in 1948. I was taken as a baby but my mother, Hilda, had taken me to games before I was born too.

"For a few years, when we were little, it was more about the sweets that we got on the way to the game. Then from about the age of five the actual rugby became more important.

"The first game I remember was beating Wakefield Trinity away in 1952, Bill Reilly scoring a try. I was four, I think. I'd gone with my granddad who supported Wakefield - he wasn't happy at all."

Andy's late dad, Ted, and late brother, David, were also big York supporters.

Indeed, Ted had been the first fan to present an Press Player of the Month award when they began in 2004, Aussie back-rower Simon Friend the recipient.

"The last game my dad saw was actually at the end of that year - the play-off final against Halifax at Widnes, when we were robbed," recalled Andy, who has seen several other lows in his time following his home-town team - not least when the ailing old York Wasps club folded, back in 2002.

"I was coming back from the match at Workington with my dad when we heard the news on the radio. It was awful," he said.

"I'd only just retired a few years earlier and I thought that would be it for the rugby. I think we'd only recently got our first league win in about a year and then that happened.

"There was the 98-0 pasting at Rochdale as well the year before, when we struggled to get out a team. There was a 92-6 defeat as well - but at least we saw some effort in that game!"

Obviously there have been highs as well.

"One of the best was beating Castleford in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals (of 1984), with Graham Steadman scoring.

"I'll also never forget drawing with Wakefield in the 1963 quarter-finals when they were big favourites. They won the replay unfortunately.

"In recent years there was the play-off final win over Oldham in 2010 - that was a great game. And there was that unforgettable Challenge Cup win at Featherstone (in 2004) when Alex Godfrey scored the winner in the corner right at the end. We'd had a player sent off early in the first half, too. We beat Featherstone four times that season.

"Beating the New Zealand tourists in 1971 at Clarence Street was pretty special as well."

Andy did have a bit of fortune at the turn of this year to keep his attendance record going.

Even though the season wasn't starting until March, the Knights had arranged a New Year friendly against Hull - taking him by surprise.

"I didn't expect a friendly so early and I'd booked a holiday in Fiji," he explained. "I thought I'd be okay for Christmas and New Year.

"I was sitting in a bar waiting for updates when I saw on the internet the game had been called off, so my record was intact.

"Everyone else was cursing the weather - and I was thanking it. I was delighted!"

He might yet have to go to Toulouse twice more this year to keep his run going - possibly in the Super 8s and possibly in the play-offs, all depending on league positions.

Added Andy: "Three away games in Toulouse? Why not.

"Hopefully we'll go up this year either way - I'd love to see us do that.

"If not, I'll be in Toronto next season. I have friends there and within an hour of it being announced they were getting a team in League One they sent me an email inviting me to stay!"

ANDY GOMERSALL, by the way, is currently the chairman of the Knights Squad Builder Fund, alongside fellow trustees Jack Stearman, Leanne Cooper and Norma Beavers.

He has pointed out they still raise money to help with player signings - the latest being that of Ross Divorty, who was unfortunately injured four games into his second stay with his hometown club.

Anyone interested in helping with collections, making donations or getting involved in fundraising can phone the Knights office on 01904 767404 or email him at