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Spanish superfan misses out on seeing Ipswich Town play - but gets to meet Blue’s legend Kevin Beattie

PUBLISHED: 18:31 04 March 2018 | UPDATED: 18:31 04 March 2018

Spanish Ipswich Town 'super fan' Jose Lopez Lerena, with Bluey the mascot on his trip Suffolk last year. Picture: ARCHANT

Spanish Ipswich Town 'super fan' Jose Lopez Lerena, with Bluey the mascot on his trip Suffolk last year. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Spanish Ipswich Town superfan José López Lerena travelled all the way from Malaga to see Saturday’s cancelled match with Hull City - but ended up meeting an Ipswich Town legend instead.

Portman Road in the snow.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPortman Road in the snow. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mr Lerena travelled to England on Tuesday to meet up with friends in Surrey before heading to Suffolk on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s expected championship clash with Hull City.

However, the snow put a spanner in the works and he discovered he had flown all this way for an empty pitch.

But since posting on Twitter that he would miss out on the match, Ipswich Town have offered him a complimentary ticket for a game in the future, and a Suffolk businessman has even said he would stump up for a plane ticket.

Mr Lerena, who has supported the Blues ever since watching them play on TV five years ago, said: “A year ago today was my first ever time I saw Ipswich play live so this was my anniversary.

Portman Road in the snow.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPortman Road in the snow. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“Unfortunately it was cancelled.

“The weather is not very nice, I am definitely not used to that.”

He said he was blown away by the generosity of the club, and by Ipswich entrepreneur Daniel Haden-Scott, of Haden Media, for offering to pay for his flights.

“I couldn’t believe that, it is extremely kind for them to offer,” he said.

Ipswich entrepreneur Daniel Haden-Scott, pictured here on holiday in Malaga, has offered to pay for Jose's  flight from Spain. Picture: DANIEL HADEN-SCOTTIpswich entrepreneur Daniel Haden-Scott, pictured here on holiday in Malaga, has offered to pay for Jose's flight from Spain. Picture: DANIEL HADEN-SCOTT

“It makes me very proud to support Ipswich Town because it is definitely a friendly family club.

“I don’t have enough words to say how grateful I am.”

And Jose’s trip wasn’t a wash out - a visit to BBC Radio Suffolk’s Life’s a Pitch studio led to him meeting Blue’s legend Kevin Beattie.

“It was an honour meeting him,” he said. “He has been a legend for Ipswich Town.

Jorn Nielson with Shefki Kuqi and Pablo Counago. Picture: JORN NIELSONJorn Nielson with Shefki Kuqi and Pablo Counago. Picture: JORN NIELSON

“It has been a great experience.”

Mr Haden-Scott said he was happy to offer José the flight and was pleased he had enjoyed himself on his trip to Suffolk.

He said: “I had a good chat with Jose and funnily enough I go out to Malaga a couple of times a year and stay 15 minutes away from where he lives.

“I may have to go for a beer with him when I’m next there.

“I wanted to give him the flight as a nice gesture.
“I am a town fan through and through, I love the town and everything about Ipswich.

“I believe this town is brilliant but there is not enough positivity about. I just thought it was the right thing to do.”

But Jose’s trip home wasn’t without incident either, he missed his flight and had to book another.

Danish fan misses match - but has a grand day out

Danish Blues fan Jorn Nielsen heard Saturday’s match had been cancelled just before he checked in for his flight - but decided to come and visit Ipswich anyway.

Mr Nielson has followed Ipswich since they beat Leeds in the 1975 FA cup quarter final when he was just nine-years-old.

And despite the game being called off due to the snow, he said he had a great time in Ipswich nonetheless.

He said: “It was obviously awful to realize the game was off but I always enjoy the visits to Ipswich.

“A real bonus was having a meal at The Plough last night watching Leeds-Boro on TV when John Wark and Bontcho Guechev walked in and sat down at the next table.

“What a couple of legends.”

Mr Nielson said he really enjoyed his visit to Ipswich and has already booked his tickets for the Aston Villa match next month

“It’s on April 21 so it can hardly go wrong with the weather.”

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