Tyrone Mings helps Ipswich teenager get to Euro 2016 semi-finals after Ladbrokes Twitter challenge
An Ipswich Town fan whose Euro 2016 dream was shattered earlier this week has been left stunned after a betting firm and a former Blues star came together to rescue his trip of a lifetime.
Jonny Dowe, 18, had scrimped, saved, and even sold his Xbox One and FIFA game in order to get enough cash together to buy a ticket for the Euro semi-finals in Lyon.
But his plans fell apart in an instant when the house of a family friend where he had arranged to stay in France flooded during extreme downpours in the country.
The devoted supporter knew he couldn’t give up his tickets without a fight and turned to the social media site Twitter for help.
“It was a bit of a disaster really, I had everything planned when the rug was pulled from under me,” Jonny said.
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“I was tweeting out of frustration to see if I could perhaps find a place to stay and Ladbrokes spotted my tweet and it all went pretty well from there.”
The bookmakers presented Jonny with a challenge: “If you manage to get a retweet from a Premier League footballer, we’ll sort you out for Euro 2016.”
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Challenge accepted, Jonny proved his super fan stripes by gaining a retweet from former Ipswich Town defender Tyrone Mings within 45 minutes.
“I know he has a good relationship with Town fans so I thought he would pull through,” Jonny added.
So now Jonny and his girlfriend Shumie Akhtar will be taking their seats in the Grand Stade de Lumières next month, with an overnight stay in Lyon courtesy of Ladbrokes.
“I didn’t believe it until they emailed me and confirmed everything,” said Jonny, who attended Northgate Sixth Form.
“I can’t wait. I have never been to a major international tournament, so it should be fantastic.”