LIFE-LONG Arsenal fan Alan Aldridge hopes tickets for his favourite club will help bring Christmas cheer to lonely people in Devizes whatever the result of a London derby on January 3.

Auctioneer Mr Aldridge and his son Andrew are Arsenal season ticket holders and had expected to be watching the team take on Chelsea on New Year's Day.

But when the fixture was moved they realised they would not be able to make the game and decided to auction off their exclusive Platinum level tickets to help fund Christmas lunches at three different venues in the town.

Mr Aldridge, who grew up not far from The Emirates stadium, said: "When I realised I couldn't go to the match on January 3 I thought it would be a good idea to auction them off.

"Money raised will help pay for Christmas day lunches being organised by local churches. We wanted the money to go to help people in Devizes who might otherwise be in need or lonely."

The cash will go to lunches at the parish room of St James' Church, Sheep Street Baptist Church and at St John's Parish Room for homeless people supported by the charity Opendoors.

The Arsenal package will be auction at a sale at Henry Aldridge and Son auction room at Bath Road Business Park, Devizes at 10am on December 16.

It includes tickets for two people in the platinum level balcony seats right behind the goal, the Highbury buffet fine dining experience, free champagne on arrival, wine, half time drink with cheese and biscuits, Arsenal souvenir programme and scarf.

Mr Aldridge said: "The cost of this package for non-Arsenal members would be £1920. It is a London derby one of the biggest games of the Premier League Campaign for Arsenal."

Katie Burholt, who is organising the lunch at St James', said: "We are very grateful to the Aldridges for helping us in this way. Our lunch is open to whole families. Last year our youngest guest was eight and the oldest was 80. It is free to attend and includes lots of games, carols and other entertainment."

She is particularly keen to hear from carers who would are in need of a break from their usual routines. Anyone who would like to book a seat at the free event should ring her on 07771 632408 or email