By: Sydney Zuelke
Danny Williamson is the U.K.’s No. 1 Kings fan.
On Thursday, he visited California for the very first time, flying 5,000 miles and 11 hours just to see his team play in its first regular season game inside Golden 1 Center. We caught up with Danny before the home opener to talk about the origins of his passion for purple.
Golden1Center.com: As a U.K. native, how did you become a fan of the Kings?
Danny Williamson: I like the logo, and I have pen-pals from California, and Sacramento in particular. So I chose the Kings. Which in hindsight is tough, because of the time difference, I’ve got to watch tip-off at 3 a.m.
Golden1Center.com: Would you stay up late to watch them?
Danny Williamson: Every game. It’s hard, but that’s how it has to be. But there’s social media now. In the old days it was bad, because we used to have them sent on PAL tapes and DVDs so that wasn’t too bad. But now as soon as the game finishes, my iPad lights up with scores.
Golden1Center.com: This must be a little different than what you’re used to seeing on TV. What’s it like to actually be here in this new arena?
Danny Williamson: It’s crazy. I mean there’s nowhere in the world like it.
Golden1Center.com: Is this your first time in California?
Danny Williamson: Yes, I’ve gone to the east coast a few times. I came over to America in the 90s to watch the Bulls when they were at their peak. I’ve done Orlando as well to see the Kings and I’ve been to Canada to watch the Kings, but it’s the first time I’ve made it all the way to Sacramento.
Golden1Center.com: Was the new arena your inspiration for finally making the trip?
Danny Williamson: Yes, (Kings Play-by-Play Broadcaster) Grant Napear and I are friends and we put this day on our calendars. The day (Golden 1 Center) opens he said “Make sure you’re here and I’ll make sure you get here.” And here we are.
Golden1Center.com: And you brought your family?
Danny Williamson: My wife and two kids. They’re nine and 11-years-old.
Golden1Center.com: Are they Kings fans too? Maybe you’ve rubbed off on them?
Danny Williamson: My son, when he was about 4-years-old, was a Heat fan because of LeBron, and now he’s more in line with where he should be.