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Moscow joy for Blues family

PUBLISHED: 14:19 24 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:34 03 March 2010

AN AVID Blues fan is breathing a sigh of relief thanks to a helping hand from the Evening Star.

Woodbridge man Paul Ramsey thought his trip of a lifetime to see the Town play the second leg of their UEFA Cup match against Moscow Torpedo with 14 of his friends and family had been ruined when a mix up meant that he and his son were separated from the rest of the group.

AN AVID Blues fan is breathing a sigh of relief thanks to a helping hand from the Evening Star.

Woodbridge man Paul Ramsey thought his trip of a lifetime to see the Town play the second leg of their UEFA Cup match against Moscow Torpedo with 14 of his friends and family had been ruined when a mix up meant that he and his son were separated from the rest of the group.

Although all the booking forms, costing more than £6,000, were thought to have left Portman Road in one envelope, travel firm Travel Management Group, said that somehow two were received separately and put them in a different hotel and on an earlier flight home.

When the 50-year-old, from Bury Hill, complained the Warwickshire based firm made sure that he and Patrick were moved to the hotel where the other members of the group, including his older son Ben, 22, were staying.

Unfortunately, at the time, the travel firm was unable to get Mr Ramsey and Patrick, 20, on the later flight home on Friday with the rest of the group.

Although the firm offered to put Ben onto the earlier flight with his father and brother the offer was declined.

Mr Ramsey would have had to leave at 8.30am while the rest of the group would be leaving at 4pm, giving them more time to spend in Moscow.

A fuming Mr Ramsey said: "We will be missing out on the rest of the day with our friends.

"Also my other son Ben will not get back into Portman Road until midnight on the Friday.

"The whole idea (of the bulk booking) was that we should all travel together- we go all over the country together."

At the time, Mike Scholefield , Director of Travel Management Group said: "Somehow the forms did not come into us showing that they had all booked together.

"When it became apparent we put them all together in the same hotel and said that (Mr Ramsey's) the other son could fly back with them.

"There is a finite number of seats on the planes and this is a very big event."

However, despite the problems they faced, the company managed to arrange things for Mr Ramsey and his son who will be on the later flight home with the rest of their friends after the Star intervened.

Mr Scholefield said that under the special circumstances they had managed to reinstate the Ramsey's with the rest of the party.

On hearing the news, Mr Ramsey said: "We are delighted, absolutely ecstatic.

"Everything is back to normal again and I can start looking forward to the trip."

Mr Ramsey's group however, were not the only people to be disappointed.

Other fans, writing to TWTD, an Ipswich Town fanzine, have said when they were finding out details of the trip to Moscow they were under the impression that the only flights were leaving early on Wednesday and late on Friday.

However there are a range of flights between those times which has left some fans disappointed that they have less time to spend in Moscow.

One fan wrote: "I have found out that we don't fly out until 13.30 on Wednesday and depart the hotel at 8.30am on Friday.

"This leaves basically half a day for sightseeing etc on Thursday before the match."

But Mr Scholefield said the intention had been to offer a range of flights to fans, which is where a misunderstanding may have occurred.

He said with more than 600 people wanting to go on the trip they would not have been able to fit them all on an early Wednesday flight and late Friday flight, so a selection of flights were arranged throughout the day.

John Ford, ticket office and call centre manager at Ipswich Town said the club had had some queries which had been dealt with and that they were unaware of any major unrest among fans over the trip.

Mr Ford said: "Ipswich Town is offering a service and we want that to be the best possible.

"That is what we are wanting to achieve.

"If someone tells us that something has upset them, we will always look into it and take any corrective action."

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