HEROIC football fan Sam Astley, who turned down tickets to see England play in the Euro 2020 semi finals to donate stem cells to save a life, will be heading to Wembley to see the final…thanks to the power of social media.

People across the country began sharing Sam’s story after it was published in the Stourbridge News yesterday about how he’d passed up the offer of free tickets for the England v Denmark game as he was due to donate both stem cells and bone marrow having been found to be match for someone in need via the Anthony Nolan register.

Sam’s girlfriend Beth Hill, a critical care nurse at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, won the tickets in a competition on Pretty Little Thing on Instagram and it also included a night’s stay at The Dorchester and £500 spending money.

Sam, aged 24, from Sedgley, however, heroically declared "no football game beats saving someone's life” as he prepared to undergo the procedure at a private London clinic.

Stourbridge News: Sam AstleySam Astley

Beth, aged 25, also had to turn down the tickets as she was self-isolating, and gifted them to relatives.

Friends and family have since been on a mission to highlight Sam’s selflessness and help get the couple to Wembley for the final which will see England take on Italy…and their efforts have not been in vain.

Earlier today Gary Lineker tweeted about Sam and asked England and the FA for help…and shortly afterwards official Euro 2020 sponsor Vivo announced they could arrange tickets for Sam.

The tech company has since been in contact with Sam and the Anthony Nolan charity this afternoon to try to make arrangements to send Sam and Beth to Wembley on Sunday to see what promises to be an historic match…and a spokesman for vivo Europe said on Twitter: “Sam deserves to be at the game and we want to make it happen. It’s our pleasure to support Sam on this.”

Sam, who works as a buyer for a manufacturing technology company in Worcester, was today recovering after the donation and his girlfriend Beth Hill told the News: “I’m told he started singing ‘it’s coming home’ as he woke up.”

Stourbridge News: Sam Astley and Beth HillSam Astley and Beth Hill

She welcomed news of the ticket offer from Vivo and said: "We're asbolutely overwhelmed and so grateful they've come forward and given us tickets. We didn't think we would have the opportunity to buy them let alone get free tickets.

"We're also really thankful that we've been able to raise awareness for the Anthony Nolan charity."

She said both she and Sam are huge football fans. Sam plays for CTS United in Dudley and Beth said she used to love watching The Albion with her Dad and it will be a dream come true to see England play.

A spokesman for Vivo told the News: "We saw the coverage on social media earlier today that Sam had missed the chance to attend the England Denmark game after being matched to someone in need via the Anthony Nolan stem cell register, and agreeing to make a life-saving donation to a patient with blood cancer or a blood disorder.

"As an official sponsor of UEFA EURO 2020 we wanted thank him for his selfless lifesaving donation, so have arranged for Sam and his girlfriend to attend the final England vs. Italy match this Sunday at Wembley as guest of vivo.

"We hope that both of them enjoy the experience."

Family friend Simon Wilkes, from Withymoor, Brierley Hill, whose charity event in memory of his son Olly led to Sam and Beth joining the register, said: “This wonderful couple will hopefully get a wonderful weekend together down in London and hopefully this wonderful story has inspired younger people to be swabbed to be put on the Anthony Nolan stem cell register to help save the lives of people with blood cancer."

Henny Braund MBE, chief executive of Anthony Nolan, said: "Sam has shown us all what a true hero he really is, by putting his own once in a lifetime opportunity to see England play at Wembley aside, to give someone with blood cancer or a blood disorder their best chance at survival.

"It has been amazing to see so many people on social media, including Gary Lineker, try to secure Sam tickets to the final and raise awareness of Anthony Nolan at the same time. We are delighted that he has now been offered tickets to Wembley.

"We hope he has an amazing time, he truly deserves it."