Have shirt, will travel

ipswich: You know how it is... you wait four years for a World Cup offer and then three arrive all at once!

That’s the deal facing England fans in Ipswich this weekend as the town’s bus company gets into World Cup fever as the national team prepare to battle with the USA.

Ipswich Buses think they’ve come up with an offer that’s just the ticket to mark the world’s most-watched sporting event.

Anyone wearing the three lions on their shirt can buy a special ticket that offers unlimited travel around the town on the day of an England World Cup match.

And it doesn’t have to be the current England shirt – you can dig out your old shirt or put on a heritage shirt copied from the 1966 winners.

It doesn’t matter whether it is white or red either – any England shirt will get you the discount.

Ipswich Buses managing director Malcolm Robson said: “The company is keen to promote sustainable travel and also to support England in the team’s bid for success at the World Cup in South Africa.

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“This promotion will give England fans a chance to enjoy the game on giant screens around Ipswich, have a drink to celebrate each victory and travel home in style with our company.”

Ipswich Buses staff are also getting in on the celebrations – they can wear their England shirts on duty in return for a �1 donation to the St Elizabeth Hospice – on match days.

But Mr Robson warned that the company is strictly partisan when it comes to wearing shirts during the World Cup.

“This is only for England shirts,” he emphasised. “Anyone wearing a United States shirt on Saturday will be charged double the normal fare!”

Staff at the Tower Ramparts bus station were already getting into the England spirit yesterday as the long-awaited first matches of the tournament approach. The buses have even been fitted with a destination board urging support for the national team in the World Cup.

The offer will be extended as long as England remain in the tournament – so could continue for seven matches right through to the final if the team progresses that far... but that could turn out to be over-optimistic after the team’s recent performances in major tournaments.

Ipswich Buses has a long association with football in the town – carrying successful Town teams in open-top buses and offering special deals to fans heading to Portman Road on match days.

Now Mr Robson – himself a season ticket-holder at Portman Road – has extended the company’s link with football to the national team as the whole of England goes World Cup crazy.

n Are you doing anything special to mark England’s participation in the World Cup? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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