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£11 to take baby to U's game is 'rip-off' says grandad
5:00pm Thursday 25th October 2012 in News
A SOCCER-MAD grandad is furious after Colchester United tried to charge him £11 to take his ten-month-old grandaughter to a U's match.
Three generations of Andy Wood's family were looking forward to Saturday's clash with Carlisle United at the Community Stadium.
Window-cleaner Andy, from Clacton, was happy to pay £20 each for himself and daughter Gemma.
But he was flabbergasted when he was told he'd have to stump up more than a tenner for Gemma's tot Isabella.
Life-long fan Andy, 50, said: "We took Isabella along the week before for the first time and they let her in for free.
"She sat in my lap and clapped with everyone else and just really enjoyed herself.
"Everyone around us was having a laugh and joking with her.
"I just presumed it was free for little babies."
But when he went to buy tickets for the Carlisle game in advance, officials dropped the bombshell.
"I was told we'd have have to pay £11 for Isabella - I was amazed," said Andy.
"As far as I know, no other ground charges that much for a ten-month-old baby."
Andy could have taken Isabella into the family enclosure for just £1. But the adults' tickets would then have cost more than they pay to sit on the South Stand behind the goal.
A U's spokesman said: “Under-8s can attend any game this season from just £1, whilst under-14 prices start at only £4. These prices mean that a family can attend at a decent price for a group and, with Joe Dunne’s team playing some great football, we think that it represents a really good day out.”
But Andy said: "I think it should be free to anyone under five years old.
"Then they will be more likely to go when they are older and it would bring in the next generation of supporters to the club."
Gemma, 20, refused to go to Saturday's game - and Andy also stayed away.
"I love Colchester and will always support them, but I won't go if they are going to rip us off," he said.