One lucky Leicester Tigers fan was celebrating for more than one reason on Saturday after bagging his spot at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final in May.
Before watching his beloved Tigers romp to a convincing 28-8 victory over Sale Sharks, Jon Treadwell came out top of the pile in the ‘Grab a Ticket’ Competition.
The 44-year-old, an avid Leicester fan and season-ticket holder, surprised his wife Fiona with some cat-like reflexes to book his place at Twickenham.
And having grabbed 21 tickets inside the Ticket Twister Booth – an inflatable dome outside the ground – Jon admits he couldn’t have done it without some words of wisdom from those in charge.
“It’s really fantastic news for me and I’m very happy I’ve won the competition,” he said.
“I thought the ticket-grabbing just looked like it would be fun to be honest, so I just got in there and gave it my best shot.
“But the lads that were running it were very helpful – they suggested I leave my coat on so I could stuff tickets in the pockets, which was a key tactic!
“My wife and I never miss the final, but it’s great to get to go courtesy of Aviva Premiership Rugby and hopefully we get some great seats.
“It’s nice of them as we are huge rugby fans. We’re season ticket holders at Leicester, so we never miss a game at home and we follow them round the country whenever we can.
“I’m lucky enough to have a very understanding wife and to enjoy some long weekends away watching the rugby. She’ll certainly be coming with me again in May.”
The Grab a Ticket machine has already travelled to London Welsh, London Irish, Harlequins and Leicester, and will head to the other eight Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs in the coming weeks. The challenge is to catch as many tickets as possible in 30 seconds as they are blown around at high speed.
And Jon, who works as a traffic officer for the Highways Agency, knows his favourite player Marcos Ayerza and the rest of the Tigers squad have a lot of work to do if they are to join him at Rugby HQ.
He added: “If we keep all our players fit we’ve got a chance of reaching the final. If we don’t get some of our key guys back then maybe not, but there’s a lot of teams in the mix at the moment.
“It’s been a really exciting season with six teams or so pushing for the top four, so it should make for a really good finish.”
Tickets for the Aviva Premiership Rugby final are on sale. To snap one up visit www.premiershiprugby.com/final