Mattress madness as PNE fans bag final United seats

Dan Bull queueing outside Deepdale for the last of the tickets against Manchester United
Dan Bull queueing outside Deepdale for the last of the tickets against Manchester United
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A man slept outside Deepdale on a dirty mattress to bag his seat at Monday’s FA Cup blockbuster clash against Manchester United.

Dan Bull, from Penwortham, dragged a mattress to the stadium at 2.30am and waited in the cold for the final 2,000 tickets to go on sale yesterday at 9am.

The keen fan was joined by hundreds of desperate Preston North End fans who slept in cars and on fold-up chairs in order to secure a ‘once in a lifetime’ ticket for the 7.45pm fifth round clash.

Dan’s eagerness paid off as he bagged a ticket and North End announced that the glamour tie was sold out at 5.30pm yesterday.

Steward Mark Bamber, 53, from Preston, revealed hundreds queued to bag a ticket.

He said: “About 700 people turned up this morning to try and get one of 2,000 tickets.

“There was someone with a mattress, he dragged it up here at 2.30am from B&M Bargains apparently, and slept on it.”

The Friday ticket frenzy occurred because PNE have been staggering ticket sales all week to ensure ‘real’ fans, who are registered on their ticketing database, got a ticket.

Despite the system, ruthless touts are flogging £21 tickets for the FA cup tie between PNE and Manchester United at £260.

Manchester United were given an allocation of 4,493 tickets.

Ticket touts on websites are selling them at vastly inflated prices of up to £260 and £239 more than their value.

Paul Elliott, Lancashire police’s football intelligence officer, said: “We are aware tickets are being sold by these means, and are doing all we can to address it.

“There will be a large-scale policing operation, and tickets will be checked on the night.”