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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Ed Sheeran fans from Sheppey overwhelmed following Twitter plea backed by Judge Rinder after £408 parking quote for Wembley gig

The parents of a disabled Ed Sheeran fan who were quoted £408 to park near Wembley stadium say they have been overwhelmed by offers of help that mean they can still go to this week’s show.

Garry and Kyle Ratcliffe from Sheppey put out a desperate plea on Twitter for help or options to get their 18-year-old son, Haydn, who has cerebral palsy, to the gig after train strikes left them with no other alternative to get there.

From left to right: Kyle, Garry and Haydn Ratcliffe
From left to right: Kyle, Garry and Haydn Ratcliffe

But thankfully, after gaining more than 1,000 retweets and 2,000 likes, including one from Judge Rinder, the family, who featured on television when their home was rebuilt by Nick Knowles’ on DIY SOS, have now been offered a staff parking space at the stadium.

Garry, 49, said: “Haydn, our eldest, has a part time job at Snap Fitness and saved his wages up to be able to buy the tickets for Ed Sheeran’s concert.

“After the train strikes were announced we went to book disabled parking at the stadium but it was fully booked.

“We then looked on the parking app, Just Park, and found one private space nearby on someone’s drive but it was £408, double what the concert tickets cost.

“So I went to Twitter explaining the scenario and asked if we could get any help.”

Garry was overwhelmed with responses.

He added: “After I hit publish it went crazy.

“After Judge Rinder retweeted it and tagged Wembley it exploded.

“I got over 100 direct messages, some people were offering driveways and one man even offered to pay the £408 up front for us.

“It was overwhelming, but then I got a private message from someone that worked at Wembley.”

Haydn Ratcliffe, 18, from Sheppey
Haydn Ratcliffe, 18, from Sheppey

In the message, a member of the staff explained that on the day of the concert on Saturday one of the stadium’s employees was off.

As a result they said the family, who run Curly’s Farm on Sheppey – an inclusive working farm that hosts visits for all, regardless of their needs – could have their parking space at the venue for free.

Garry added: “I couldn’t believe it, social media can be such a rubbish place but it can also make moments like this happen.

“We haven’t had to spend a penny on parking and Haydn can now enjoy the concert without the stress of expensive parking and transfer to the stadium.

“Haydn was crushed when he first found out we may not be able to go but this is such a wonderful outcome.”

From left to right, Haydn, Garry and Kyle Ratcliffe
From left to right, Haydn, Garry and Kyle Ratcliffe

Before the kind gesture Garry and his partner, Kyle, 44, had a chat as a family and explained to their son about whether or not the cost of parking was justifiable.

Garry added: “We would always do anything for our kids but we must also teach them about the reality of money, especially during the cost of living crisis.”

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