MOUNT Carmel RC High School in Accring-ton has finally reached its goal of raising £50,000 to bid for science college status - and broke a world record in the process!
Two weeks ago, we invited Observer readers to get behind the school's mammoth fund-raising effort when we offered cut-price tickets for tomorrow's Rovers v Southampton game at Ewood Park.
The profits from the giveaway, which was the brainchild of former pupil and local councillor Tony Dobson, gave the bid a much-needed boost.
And last week, former pupils Eddie and Paul Fitzpatrick, and Michael White - who are the directors of Leyland firm EDM Construction - brought the fund-raising campaign to an end when they paid a record-breaking £10,000 for one of the tickets.
The sale means that the school's application for science college status, which was launched a year ago, can now be sent to the Department for Education and Skills for consideration.
At least half of the money raised had to come from local businesses, with the remaining £25,000 coming from school events. If the bid is successful, the school will get £100,000 from the Government to develop its science facilities.
Delighted headteacher Katrina Ryan paid tribute to everyone who had helped the school reach its target, including businessman Kevin Horkin and former MP Ken Hargreaves.
She said: "We're over the moon that we can now get on with the bid for science college status. Raising the money was a formidable goal, especially in an area of declining industry where several schools have already been through the process before us."
The three who bought the £10,000 "golden ticket" said they got involved after Miss Ryan spoke about the pressures of fund-raising during the school's annual awards presentation in November.
Michael, who is operations director at the firm, said: "We thought it was a great opportunity for all of us to give something back to the school."
Tony said: "We looked in the most recent edition of the Guinness Book of World Records and we couldn't find a listing for the most expensive football ticket, so we believe that this is a record. I am not too sure what the next stage is in terms of making it official but we can certainly make some inquiries."