South African-based Preston fan who offered to 'sell his kidney for a ticket' talks of joy at being given ticket by FA

Preston fan Michael Jackson was given the tickets during a VIP tour of Wembley organised by the FA

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The Independent Football

A fan who travelled from South Africa and offered his kidney in exchange for a ticket to tonight’s FA Cup tie between Preston and Manchester United has spoken of his joy at being given a free ticket by the FA.

Last week, Cape Town-based Preston fan Michael Jackson uploaded a picture onto the internet holding a sign that read: “I will sell a kidney for two tickets for the PNE v UTD game.”

The picture of Jackson, who grew up in Preston but has lived in South Africa for 25 years, soon went viral catching the attention of a number of sympathetic social media users and the FA.

After being made aware of Jackson’s predicament, the FA invited him to Wembley for a VIP stadium tour, which included being taken into the Royal Box to get see the FA Cup trophy.

Inside the trophy when Jackson entered were two tickets for Jackson and his wife Carol.

Speaking to Lancashire Evening Telegraph after his tour, Jackson said: “I never thought that anything like this would happen, I feel very honoured and privileged,”

"I am thrilled, I am excited and I am a proud Prestonian. I have fallen in love with Preston all over again."

Lucy Roberts-Hartley, marketing manager for the FA Cup, said: “This season we're celebrating the adventure of the FA Cup, so as soon as we saw Michael's story we knew his specific adventure needed to end with him being at the game on Monday night.

”Making a journey from thousands of miles away goes to show how special the FA Cup is to the fans. Hopefully Preston's adventure continues and Michael will be back to see them in the final in May.“

Tonight’s televised tie sees League One Preston host 11-time winners Manchester United, who are 44 places above them in the football league ladder.

Preston, who have themselves won the competition twice, were handed the money-spinning tie after an impressive 3-1 victory away to renowned giant-killers Sheffield United.

Manchester United were taken to a replay by Cambridge United in round four, before coming out 3-0 winners over the League Two outfit at Old Trafford two weeks ago.

The game tonight is expected to be a sell-out, with all 24,000 seats at Deepdale expected to be filled.