Perfect! Ed Sheeran donates gig tickets to 1,100 pupils at his old school
PUBLISHED: 16:21 24 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:21 24 May 2019
PA Archive/PA Images
Ed Sheeran has given students at his old Suffolk school the perfect gift - by handing each of its 1,100 pupils free tickets to one of his homecoming Ipswich gigs.
The popstar is performing four concerts at Chantry Park over the August Bank Holiday weekend as part of his 2019 world tour.
There has been a major scramble for tickets, with the Friday and Saturday shows proving so popular they have sold out.
So staff at Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham, which Sheeran attended as a youngster, were taken aback to be contacted by organisers of the concert to be told that the Thinking Out Loud singer would making the generous donation.
The performer, who looks back fondly on his time at the Saxtead Road school, has also given all of the academy's staff free tickets.
Richard Hanley, director of music at the school and Sheeran's former music teacher, said everyone was "thrilled" at the news of the "very generous and exciting offer".
Mr Hanley added: "There will be many, many Thomas Mills students and staff at the concert who will be very, very excited.
You may also want to watch:
"It's something he very much wants to do. He's just a very generous man and he's always thought highly of the school.
"It's just another way of expressing the high regard in which he holds the school."
Mr Hanley said that students have been gradually told about the good news in assemblies over the past couple of weeks.
He says that Sheeran has "kept his Suffolk roots and connection with the school", often returning for song-writing workshops with students.
Earlier this year it was announced that Lewis Capaldi will be joining The Darkness as Ed's support acts for his Sunday and Monday shows.
The Shape of You singer's tour takes him to Asia and Europe before he arrives back in the UK to play Leeds ahead of his homecoming gig at Chantry Park.
His first Ipswich date is Friday, August 23 and the finale takes place on Bank Holiday Monday, August 26.
On all four dates the gates will open at 4pm, the concert is then expected to finish at 10.30pm.
The Ipswich venue has the capacity to hold between 40,000 45,000 people so those attending on the sold out dates can expect quite a crowd.