Spanish Ipswich Town superfan José given free flight to match
- Credit: PAUL EMMS
A Spanish Ipswich Town superfan finally managed to see his beloved Blues play this weekend after a Suffolk businessman paid for his flight to England.
José López Lerena initially made the trip over from Malaga to Ipswich at the beginning of March to see Town play. However, snowy weather brought by the Beast from the East scuppered his plans and the game was cancelled.
Having spotted on social media that José had been offered a free ticket from the club to a match in the future, Ipswich entrepreneur Daniel Haden-Scott decided to step in and help him, paying for his return flight from Malaga.
The pair finally met up on Sunday for a pint in the sunshine in Ipswich.
Mr Lerena, who has supported the club since first seeing them five years ago, said of the 4-0 loss to Aston Villa: “The result was disappointing, I think the red card killed the game.
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“But it was a still another lovely day at Portman Road and great to be back in Suffolk and Ipswich. I can’t complain whatever the result.
“The touching moment in the game was in the last 10 minutes where, even though we were losing, the whole of the Bobby Robson stand started singing.
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“The weather was brilliant this time – not a single snowflake in sight. In fact, on Friday when I flew over it was hotter here than at home.
“I have come from Malaga to England for the sun.”
Mr Haden-Scott said he paid for Mr Lerena’s ticket because it felt like the right thing to do.
“It is just nice to see someone so positive about Ipswich,” he said.
“It is very refreshing and I thought ‘why not’.
“I love Ipswich, I run three businesses here.
“I have been very fortunate so I think when you have the opportunity to give something back it is the right thing to do.
“It is funny because he lives 15 minutes away from my apartment in Malaga – we will be going for a pint I’m sure.
“Hopefully this will push the positive support into the community.”
Mr Lerena said the 4-0 defeat to Villa didn’t ruin his trip.
“For me, football is not just 90 minutes, it is also part of the community.
“Ipswich Town is like a huge family so, of course the match is important, but it is the community that matters most.”