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Stoke man discovers extraordinary haul of unused Euro '96 tickets

What a mystery this is. As per the Stoke Sentinel, a man in Stoke-on-Trent has discovered an entire reel of Euro '96 tickets in an old suitcase.

According to the owner, who wished to remain anonymous, the tickets were only discovered by accident when he took the case - containing a collection of cigarette cards owned by his grandfather - to a valuation.

"I have no idea where the tickets have come from. It’s a complete mystery," he said (opens in new tab). "They were in a case that housed my grandad’s old cigarette cards.

"My mum had the case for years and then gave it to me about 10 years ago. It was actually the cigarette cards that I took along for valuation."

Nobody seems wise as to how the tickets, one for each game at the tournament, found their way into his family's possession, but they all bear the name 'Ben Edwards'.

At face value, the tickets would have cost nearly £1,700. But even given how rare it is to find an entire tournament's worth, and that Euro '96 is now more than 20 years ago, they are expected to fetch considerably less when they go up for auction on May 4.

Alistair Lofley of Hansons Auctioneers told the Sentinel: "I've seen the odd ticket from Euro '96 before but never an entire set like this. It’s a mystery.

"We've been carrying out research on them and, at this stage, they appear genuine. Football ticket stubs from important games are collectors’ items and this set is sure to appeal. I've put an estimate of £100-£150 on them."

The tickets will be sold on at a sporting memorabilia auction at Hansons Auctioneers on May 23.

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Seb Stafford-Bloor is a football writer at Tifo Football and member of the Football Writers' Association. He was formerly a regularly columnist for the FourFourTwo website, covering all aspects of the game, including tactical analysis, reaction pieces, longer-term trends and critiquing the increasingly shady business of football's financial side and authorities' decision-making.