Town fan offered box for seat

AN Ipswich Town season ticket holder is furious today after having the season opener against Cardiff City spoilt because he was offered a cardboard box to sit on instead of a seat in the stands.

AN Ipswich Town season ticket holder is furious today after having the season opener against Cardiff City spoilt because he was offered a cardboard box to sit on instead of a seat in the stands.

Fan Andy Rackham and his son Billy had long been looking forward to the first game of the season.

But when they got to the match on Saturday, they found 15-year-old Billy's broken seat being taken away.

The pair had told the club about the broken seat last season but were horrified to see it finally being removed FIVE minutes before kick-off.

Billy was forced to sit in his dad's seat but Mr Rackham, who turned down the offer of the folded up cardboard box, ended up standing until an elderly woman was given a seat elsewhere.

Mr Rackham, 43, of Furness Close, Ipswich, has been a season ticket holder for the past 12 years and has had his current season ticket for about six years. This year he paid about £570 for their two Britannia Stand seats.

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He said: "We walked into the ground and this chap was walking down with the seat. The steward told us it was being taken away because it was damaged, but it had been damaged last season.

"They said it would take two hours to replace. It was only about five minutes until the game started.

"They offered me a seat upstairs, but I didn't want to sit upstairs - I wanted to sit with my son and my mates. I wanted to sit where I had paid to sit.

"I went across the field and one of the stewards came to me and offered me a piece of cardboard - a folded up box - to sit on.

"I was standing up for a few minutes, but the lady behind couldn't see. She was moved somewhere else, we all moved up and I was able to sit. An elderly woman was moved out so I could sit down, which I thought was wrong."

A new seat was not fitted until half-time.

Mr Rackham said he was further annoyed by the fact that the seat next to Billy's was similarly damaged, but was not removed.

He said: "I am absolutely gutted. We had been looking forward to the game and we were absolutely buzzing. I couldn't get into the game at all.

"I would also like to apologise to the lady for having to move on my behalf."

Ipswich Town Football Club spokesman Terry Baxter said: "The club deeply regrets any distress this may have caused to Mr Rackham.

"We will be investigating, if this seat was reported as damaged some time ago, why it appears nothing was done to remedy it.

"As soon as the club was made aware of the problem on Saturday, we made arrangements for a repair to me made at half-time.

"I will be in contact with Mr Rackham to discuss the matter."

N Have you had a similar problem? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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