Ipswich Town fan speaks of shock after winning £20,000 on Portman Road pitch during Fulham game
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
An Ipswich Town fan has spoken of his shock after winning an annual £20,000 jackpot lottery live on the pitch at Portman Road.
David Shepherd, 73, of Wivenhoe near Colchester, was one of 10 shortlisted finalists for the end-of-season super jackpot under the club’s Blue Foundation lottery scheme.
The father-of-three said he thought he was dreaming when, one by one, the other finalists were eliminated from the live draw, which took place at half-time during the Blues’ 1-1 draw against Fulham on Tuesday night.
Each finalist was assigned a tennis ball numbered from one to 10. If their number was called out in the centre circle, they were eliminated.
Mr Shepherd, who has supported Town since the early 1970s, said: “When it got down to the last two, that’s when it got really nerve-wracking.
“I looked over to my family on the touchline and remembered that I had said that I didn’t want to be the first one called out – and here I was in the last two.
“And then they announced that the other tennis ball and been drawn and I was the last man standing – it was surreal. It didn’t sink for a long while.
“I never get that lucky. I won £5 in the post in around 2007 when I first joined the Blue Foundation scheme but nothing since. My wife was crying all over the place.”
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Mr Shepherd and his wife, Denise, also 73, have front row season tickets in the Cobbold Stand.
He said they have renewed their seats for next season, despite Town’s poor league form and under-fire playing style.
He said: “I am not one of the boo-boys. I will never slag off the team. Sometimes you come away disappointed but it is an afternoon of entertainment.”
Mr Shepherd, a retired assistant accounts manager and private taxi driver, said he will now treat his daughter Amanda Cook and sons Paul and Keith, and take his wife to Venice to recreate their honeymoon from 1964.
Rosie Richardson, director of sales at Ipswich Town, said: “It was a fabulous occasion for us to reveal David as the winner.”
For details about the lottery scheme, visit www.thebluesfoundation.co.uk.