A desperate Preston North End fan who lives half way around the world has offered to swap a kidney in exchange for a golden ticket to his club’s blockbuster clash against Manchester United.
Lifelong North End fan Michael Jackson has lived in Johannesburg, South Africa for the last 25 years but is hoping someone helps him make a ‘pilgrimage’ back to Deepdale.
And the 52-year-old revealed it is ‘impossible’ for him to get a seat but he is willing to sell a kidney, ride a giraffe and even swim to Preston from Cape Town just to watch his beloved Lilywhites entertain the Premier League giants on February 16.
He said: “I’d sell a kidney to get a ticket. Someone suggested I should ride a giraffe, I’d do whatever it takes.
“I’d even swim from Cape Town to the River Ribble.
“It is on TV but I want to be there in person cheering on the Lilywhites. But it is impossible to get a ticket.”
Tickets for the clash are like gold dust as PNE stagger sales to ensure season ticket holders and fans who have bought tickets for PNE matches before January, 1, 2015 get a seat.
Michael - a former pupil at Penwortham Priory Academy - used to spend all his pocket money going to games in his teenage years but he is not registered on PNE’s ticket database.
But the determined ex-pat has launched an appeal on Facebook to get himself and his wife Carol two tickets for the clash.
He said: “I’ve put an appeal on Facebook.
“I have to be at that game it is a once in a lifetime match and marks a year since Sir Tom Finney died.
“I want to be there and hear the roar from my home town at Deepdale.
“If this never happens again in my lifetime and I miss it I will spend years in tears.”
The conference speaker is ready to fly over from Johannesburg but just needs that all important ticket for the ‘once in a lifetime’ clash.
He said: “People will say ‘part-time supporters they want to come to the big games’ but I can’t get to games because I live in South Africa.
“I spent all my money going to games when I was younger.
“I’ve followed North End’s cup run and I even wrote to the South African newspapers complaining that they don’t carry PNE’s score in the paper because of the league they are in.
“I will pay whatever it takes if I have to buy a season ticket I will do.”