Ipswich: Get your hands on the hottest tickets in Town

IPSWICH: They are the hottest tickets in town - and today is your chance to get hold of them.

The Evening Star has teamed up with Ipswich Town Football Club to offer two readers the chance to get their hands on the last remaining tickets to next week’s clash against Premier League giants Arsenal.

The tickets to the Emirates Stadium will be available to the highest bidders – with all the proceeds being donated to the Star’s Save Iceni, Save Lives campaign.

There are two pairs of tickets to be won and they will go to whoever pledges the highest donations to the drugs rehabilitation charity based in Foundation Street, Ipswich.

On Tuesday night the teams will line up in north London for the second leg of the Carling Cup semi-final – with the Super Blues starting with a precious 1-0 lead.

Striker Tamas Priskin sent Town fans into a frenzy at Portman Road in the first leg, scoring in the 78th minute to secure a memorable victory in front of a sell-out crowd.

Star players wore Iceni-branded shirts to warm up for the game to show their support for the stricken charity.

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Brian Tobin, co-founder of Iceni, thanked the generosity of fans after they managed to raise an impressive �897 through collections on the gates at the fixture.

Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover urged fans to dig deep to secure their tickets to the big game and do their bit to help save the charity, which is teetering on the brink of closure.

He said: “We want to raise as much money as we can for the Iceni project, so send us your bids today.

“They carry out vital work to help people across the town battle devastating drug addictions. The team at Iceni save lives and it is essential the services they offer are still available in Ipswich for years to come.”

The Iceni Project needs to secure �320,000 to ensure its future. So far members of the public have donated more than �15,000, while the charity has submitted an application to the government’s Transition Fund to secure another �130,000.

To show their on-going commitment to helping the charity, Simon Clegg, chief executive of Ipswich Town, said the club saw the opportunity to raise more money by auctioning off the tickets.

“As I have said before, the club is delighted to be supporting Iceni, particularly as they face the difficult challenge trying to close the financial gap, resulting from the loss of local government funding,” said Mr Clegg.

“It occurred to me the Arsenal Carling Cup semi-final away leg tickets are probably the hottest tickets in town at the moment.

“The ticket office took 27,701 phone calls in the first hour that the remaining tickets went on sale last week.

“As part of our commitment to Iceni we decided to make four tickets available, working in conjunction with The Evening Star to raise further funds for this much-needed charity.”

Mr Tobin said the team are “truly grateful” to the football club for helping to promote awareness of its plight to an audience they would never have reached.

“It means a tremendous amount, the support from the club,” he said. “It gives us the confidence that we are valued and makes us more determined than ever to succeed in our battle to survive.”

Mr Tobin and his team learnt at the end of last year that the majority of their funding will be slashed in March. Visit www.iceniipswich.org.uk for more information.

YOU and a guest could be heading to the Emirates on Tuesday to cheer the Super Blues all the way to Wembley.

The Evening Star and ITFC have joined forces to help raise more funds for the Iceni project.

We have two pairs of tickets to give away to the highest two bidders.

There are three ways to enter:

- Send your bid in a sealed envelope to ITFC Ticket Auction, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN to arrive no later than 10 am on Monday, 24th January.

- Pop your bid in a sealed envelope through our letter box at the address above.

- Or e-mail your bid to eveningstar.competitions@eveningstar.co.uk and insert Ticket Auction into the subject box.

You must include your full name, address and daytime telephone number.

Winners will be notified on Monday, January 24 before 12 noon, so make sure your phones are on.

- Normal Archant competition rules apply. If the winner cannot be contacted by 12 noon on Monday the tickets will be awarded to the next highest bidder.

We reserve the right to report details of the competition winners and publish their photographs.