Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Manchester United ticket theft victims guests at Aldershot

Sue and Tom Clare at Aldershot
Image caption Sue and Tom Clare were presented with a signed ball at half time

Two Manchester United fans who had their tickets to the Champions League final stolen have been guests of honour at a League Two match in Hampshire.

Aldershot Town fans invited Tom and Sue Clare from Manchester to Saturday's match against AFC Wimbledon.

A club official had met the couple after they had been pick-pocketed while queuing at Wembley Stadium in May.

Mrs Clare said: "We were gutted but the response from real football fans at grassroots level has been fantastic."

The couple met Aldershot's match day announcer Mark Taylor in a pub shortly after they had been robbed of their tickets to the final against Barcelona on 28 May.

He started a campaign among Aldershot fans to help compensate the Clares. The fans raised £300 to bring the couple to the match on Saturday and presented them with a signed ball, while a local hotel provided their accommodation.

Mr Clare said: "We can feel the atmosphere here rather than the corporate atmosphere we sometimes have at Man United, although we love it there. This has a feeling of real football."

Mr Taylor said: "It puts humanity back in football, the fans' response has been fantastic. We might not be a champagne club but we've got a champagne heart."

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