Newsbeat

England rugby fan: 'Mates dared me to go to Japan for the World Cup Final'

Rob Lewis Image copyright Rob Lewis

"Four or five pints down" is how rugby fan, Rob Lewis, describes himself when his mates set him a challenge last Saturday morning.

They were watching England's semi-final win over New Zealand in the World Cup when: "They said 'you wouldn't go to Japan' and I'm like, 'yeah, I would.'"

So, Rob immediately booked a flight to Tokyo via Paris for £650. The lack of a hotel room or match tickets didn't stop him, neither did being on crutches after a recent knee operation.

Some might call him impulsive, but Newsbeat wanted to know more about Rob's adventure, so we followed his journey.

Sunday 27 October

Rob starts scouring Twitter for tickets.

"I got an offer from someone who I believe is a legit seller and handed over £1,000 for two tickets," says Rob, 36, who's from Sunbury on Thames.

Oh Rob, was that really such a good idea?

Monday 28 October

He tells Newsbeat he is nervous, but that he has "good faith in humanity."

Tuesday 29 October

"Bit of a disaster this morning - the tickets didn't arrive," Rob explains to Newsbeat.

The courier had been due to deliver them before 10am, but he decided to catch his flight anyway.

In Paris, Rob sounds cheery despite his dilemma.

"Bonjour from Charles de Gaulle airport. It's flight one of two. The stranger on Twitter I sent £1,000 hasn't been very chatty today," he laughs.

"I'll keep you posted."

Wednesday 30 October

Rob arrives in Tokyo.

"Watched last year's Rugby World Cup Final on the flight over," he tweets.

Still no word on the tickets, but, every cloud Rob, every cloud...

Thursday 31 October

"Konnichiwa. I'm in Shinjuku - there are lots of neon signs everywhere, lots of hustle and bustle."

"There are a few rugby fans dotted around and now we're going to go on the hunt for some pints. I'll catch you again soon. Sayonara."

Friday 1 November

"It's been a mad few days," says Rob.

But there was positive news with the ticket seller offering to leave the tickets at the stadium.

"I still have faith in humanity that these two tickets will turn up," Rob tells Newsbeat hopefully.

"Tomorrow morning is crunch time when I visit the box office in Yokohama."

Saturday - match day!

"The two tickets I got from a stranger on Twitter didn't materialise, I went to the ticket office and they just weren't there," says Rob.

He bought back up tickets with a QR code but they didn't work when staff tried to scan them, he was told to leave the stadium.

Rob says, "I was gutted."

Image copyright Rob Lewis
Image caption Rob at the Rugby World Cup final 2019

But then he got a message from a lady he'd met earlier and she had told someone about his story.

Through this woman he managed to get tickets to the game for free.

"You could not make this up."

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