A PAIR of international All Saints fans showed ‘plane’ devotion in a bid to meet their favourite band in South Tyneside.
When Manuel Lingria heard the mega-selling girl group would be taking centre stage at Soundwaves in South Shields, he didn’t let the small matter of 1,000 miles stop him.
The 28-year-old hopped on a flight from his home town of Reggio Calabria in southern Italy to Rome, before jetting off to Newcastle Airport before completing his pop pilgrimage to South Shields.
Manuel spotted a competition to win a meet-and-greet with the chart-toppers run by South Tyneside Council on the internet and was ready to rack up the air miles when he was picked out as the winner.
Manuel was joined on the trip by pal Salvatore Gnecchi, also 28.
After watching Lulu James and Gabrielle wow the crowds at Bents Park, South Shields, the globe-trotting friends enjoyed an energetic performance from the four-piece group.
Then came the moment Manuel had been waiting for – a chance to grab a picture and a few words with Melanie Blatt, Shaznay Lewis and the Appleton sisters, Nicole and Natalie.
Mr Lingria said: “I have been a big All Saints fan since they started.
“They have always been one of my favourites.
“I travelled over on Thursday. I got a plane from my home town to Rome Airport then travelled to Newcastle Airport.
“We have really enjoyed the show. It has definitely been worth it.
“It is very exciting to get the chance to meet the group.”
The intrepid Italian travellers were among several fans who grasped the opportunity to see their musical idols away from the stage.