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Eric Cantona fans demand Bournemouth event refunds

Eric Cantona Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Many ticket-holders praised Eric Cantona, who is due to appear for the same show in Salford and London

Angry fans have demanded ticket refunds after branding an event featuring Eric Cantona a "disgrace".

Ticket-holders complained the French sports star appeared for only 45 minutes, halfway through the show at Bournemouth International Centre.

Punters praised the footballer, but said they first had to sit through an unadvertised auction and a warm-up act some deemed offensive.

Organisers A1 Sporting Speakers said only a "small minority" had complained.

The show, which is due at venues in Salford and London, was billed as "an evening" with Cantona.

Some people said the show started 30 minutes late and an interval before the athlete appeared prompted booing.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Cantona's kung-fu kick launched at Crystal Palace fan Matthew Simmons in 1995 prompted a football ban and £20,000 fine

On the event's Facebook page, which has since been removed, many people demanded refunds, including Lee Garrett who described the event as "a disgrace".

Others criticised the auction, including Amy Neild, who wrote: "We paid £245 for our tickets to an audience with Eric Cantona not to sit through your money-making auction scheme!"

About 1,500 people attended the event, where tickets ranged from £45 to £1,000.

Luke Dawe, who had a £200 ticket, said it was due to include a signed Cantona picture but was told on arrival the former Manchester United striker would not be signing anything.

The interview with the footballer-turned-actor was also criticised.

"The questions asked were tedious and delivered with no poise," said Matthew Abrey.

Terry Baker, from A1 Sporting Speakers, said Cantona received a standing ovation and "hundreds of people were thanking us for the production".

"This has to be a small minority that are complaining," he added.

The BIC apologised and said it had received "a handful of complaints" which would be fed back to the show producer.

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