‘Fabio Capello’ returns to Letchworth after watching World Cup final

FRESH from watching the World Cup final, a football fanatic now faces years of dressing up as England’s manager after trading in his dignity for free tickets.

Graham Barley arrived back at his Letchworth GC home this morning (Tuesday) after winning a competition to watch Spain take on The Netherlands in Sunday’s showpiece final in South Africa.

The two free tickets for Graham and his dad, Keith, courtesy of Hyundai, didn’t come without a catch though as in return the 34-year-old will have to dress up as Fabio Capello - wearing a curly wig and glasses - until England win the World Cup.

Before the tournament kicked off Hyundai ran a Facebook competition in which entrants were asked ‘what would you trade for tickets to the World Cup final?’

The England fan sent in a video declaring he would trade his dignity and, after a public vote, he was among the lucky winners who saw Spain emerge victorious 1-0 after extra-time in Johannesburg’s Soccer City Stadium at the weekend.


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Asked how he came up with the idea, Graham, who lives in Mullway, said: “I was trying really hard to think of something I could trade.

“I am not one for having a lot of material possessions so I didn’t have anything physical I could swap - that’s when I came up with the idea of trading my dignity.”

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Upon returning, Graham, who was supporting the Dutch during the final, is convinced the sacrifice has been worth it.

He added: “It was just an absolutely amazing experience.

“We were looked after from the moment we landed and it was one of the most eventful cup finals ever.

“Our seats were nine rows from the front - I don’t think we could have had a better view and we really felt part of the action.

“It was just a brilliant experience.”

To prove Graham is keeping his promise he has been sending Hyundai daily photos dressed in his Fabio costume, and the car manufacture will continue to check up on him every couple of years.

England haven’t triumphed at football’s biggest knockout competition in 44 years so Mr Capello may be making regular appearances in Letchworth GC for many years to come.

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