An avid Lions fan so desperate to snare a ticket to the series opening match at Eden Park that he placed an ad in the
from the other side of the world, has had his dream come true.
Welshman Paul Dancey, 62, who lives in British Columbia and sells security systems, had his flights to Auckland and accommodation booked, but no ticket for the sold-out match.
So he decided to try his luck by placing an ad in the weddings section of the Herald.
Lions fan's desperate bid for ticket
The long shot looks to have paid off with a New Zealand-based fan offering him a ticket after reading a story about his plight in the paper.
Dancey's unique listing was aimed at anyone with a match ticket who had been unlucky enough to double book their big day with the game.
"If by chance the date of your marriage coincides with the first test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the British Lions on June 24 at Eden Park and you have a ticket for the match, I would be more than happy to take your place (at the match not the wedding)," the ad read.
Tauranga man Ian Tiller called the Herald after seeing the story and said he had a ticket he was willing to sell to Dancey.
Tiller, who moved to New Zealand from England 13 years ago, said he managed to get four tickets in the ballot but they had decided their 6-year-old son was too young to take.
His wife pointed out the story and suggested they help Dancey out by selling him the ticket they had bought for their son.
"I said, perhaps we should do that. That's quite a nice thing to do."
Speaking to the Herald today, Dancey said it was "fantastic" to hear a ticket was on offer.
Asked whether he thought the ad would yield a result, he admitted it had been a long shot.
"To be honest, I'm always optimistic about things but I thought it was going to be so much in demand, this game, that I'd have to be very, very lucky."
Dancey said he was a huge rugby fan and had been to games all over the world but by the time he tried to buy tickets for the Eden Park clash on June 24, they had all sold out.
But with the trip booked, he didn't give up. He had been asking everyone he bumped into if they knew someone with a spare ticket. His brother in Brisbane, who has a ticket to the match, had also been asking around all his friends.
Tiller said he would get in contact with Dancey next week to work out logistics.