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Outrage as club bans supporter after he was too unwell to attend match

The Independent The Independent 7/10/2016 Jack Austin

© Provided by Independent Print Limited Manchester United fans have hit out at their own club after a season ticket holder of more than 30 years was banned from applying to watch away games after falling ill.

Graeme Clarke felt unwell on the morning of United’s 1-0 win over Hull in September, when Marcus Rashford's goal sparked late celebrations, and was unable to travel to the game.

Under the club’s rules and regulations on away tickets, which were communicated to fans at the start of the season, bookings must be cancelled on the day otherwise a ban would be upheld.

However, the nature of the incident – that Clarke was not fit enough to travel – has led to outrage among other supporters over the treatment of such a long-standing supporter.

The club sent Clarke a letter via the United ticket office dated September 23 which informed him that his right to apply for away tickets had been revoked for 12 months as he failed to notify the club of his absence.

In the letter, United's head of ticketing and membership operations Sam Kelleher wrote: “Although we understand circumstances may occur where you are unable to attend a game you have purchased a ticket for, you are able to cancel your ticket and receive a refund via our contact centre.

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“The club has worked extensively with the FA, Police and a number of local authorities to increase the allocation of match tickets we receive, and with thousands of unsuccessful applicants for each game, and we want to ensure each allocated ticket is used.”

Clarke’s family appealed the ban but the club upheld the decision, despite the fact that another fan took the ticket for the game, something in line with the club’s ticketing policy, only to be refused entry at the KCOM Stadium.

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