Lennon of Penny Lane wins McCartney lottery

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The Independent Online
AFTER A scramble for tickets rivalling the rush for England's Euro 2000 qualifier with Scotland, a Liverpudlian appropriately beat Beatles fanatics from across the globe to the first of 150 places at Sir Paul McCartney's Cavern return concert yesterday.

Sir Paul returns to The Cavern club in Mathew Street, Liverpool, for the first time since 1963 on Tuesday. The competition for 75 pairs of tickets pitched, amongst others, Argentinians and Australians into battle with locals. Some fanatics have already offered bribes to secure a place.

John Reavey, 55, from Aigburth in Liverpool's south, was painting his bathroom as the winning names from the competition were drawn at EMI's West London offices at 10.30am yesterday. "I stayed in this morning knowing that there was a chance I could have won but I was very doubtful," he said. A fan of The Beatles since their early days, Mr Reavey often visited the Cavern but never saw the band play there.

Tomohiro Kobayashai from Tokyo, Japan, whose name was also selected, will be rather harder to track down. He only gave a Japanese telephone number on his application form. There was no mistaking 18-year-old John Ono Lennon, though. He won fleeting fame after becoming the first person in the queue outside the Liverpool branch of HMV on Monday morning to pick up a form. He has also secured a place. After changing his name by deed poll and moving to the Penny Lane area of Liverpool from Worcester it was the least he deserved.

The last two tickets are to be given away in a telephone competition which will aid Liverpool's Alder Hey Children's Hospital, where Sir Paul's mother was a nurse.

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