A British soccer fan was down on his luck when he discovered, already in Russia, that he’d forgotten to pack his ticket to the match he intended to see.
A man known only by the name of “Douglas” was at a hotel in Volgograd when he happened upon meeting ITV News correspondent Dan Howells. Douglas recounted to Howells that he had traveled all the way from Bristol, England, to the World Cup in Russia to watch a match between Panama and England, only to have left his ticket back at home.
Howells decided to use the power of the internet, and tweeted out to his followers that a dedicated fan was in need.
“If anyone’s got a spare [ticket] let me know,” Howells tweeted out.
This is Douglas. He was at our hotel in Volgograd. We’ve just bumped in to him in Nizhny Novgorod & he’s realised he’s left his match tickets in the drawer at home in Bristol. If anyone’s got a spare one let me know. #EngPan pic.twitter.com/4zDA5aNvZa— Dan H???? (@dan_howells) June 23, 2018
And then something amazing happened: A spare ticket was attained, ready for Douglas to claim it. Unfortunately, after Howells got his hands on the ticket, Douglas was nowhere to be found.
DOUGLAS UPDATE. The lads from @sport_options have found him a ticket but now we can’t find him. If anyone spots him, tell him I’ve left a message at his hotel reception.— Dan H???? (@dan_howells) June 24, 2018
As time was ticking by, it seemed all hope was lost. And, eventually, it was. Even as people who knew him tried to get in touch with him, Douglas couldn’t be found until 40 minutes before the match was to start, which at that point meant his ticket was no longer his to claim.
I’m afraid he only got back to his hotel 40 mins before kick off. Couldn’t get to the stadium in time to pick the ticket up.— Dan H???? (@dan_howells) June 24, 2018
While some fans may find themselves to be the recipients of good fortune, Douglas, unfortunately, isn't one of them. Still, if anything can be learned from this, it’s that the internet, while often filled with trolls and cyber-bullying, can also be a place of goodwill and humanity.