John Meadowcroft, an 87-year old resident at Tall Oaks Care Home in Biddulph, had an evening to remember when he returned to Port Vale Football Club for the first time in many years to watch the team he has supported since he was a boy.
In his younger days, John had attended every home match with his son Paul, but had not been back to Vale Park for many years due to his declining mobility. So when staff at Tall Oaks learned that he still harboured a dream to see the team play again, they contacted Port Vale FC and purchased a surprise ticket for John from the home’s comfort fund, which supports special experiences for residents.
On the day of the match, Tall Oaks’ Home Manager Hannah Barrington-Parry and Activities Coordinator Joseph Byrne broke the exciting news to John and whisked him off to Vale Park, where he was given a great seat and introduced to the team mascot, Boomer. Even a 4-1 defeat to Stevenage couldn’t spoil the fun, and the icing on the cake was a chance encounter with an old matchday buddy whom John had not seen for 62 years.
“When I heard I was going to watch Port Vale I couldn’t believe it. It was a fantastic surprise and great to be back at Vale Park. Unfortunately it wasn’t the team’s best performance but it didn’t spoil the occasion and I had a marvellous time.”
Home Manager Hannah Barrington added:
“Here at Tall Oaks our focus is very much on person-centred care. We get to know our residents individually and if we can organise something special and memorable for them, we do our best to make it happen.
"I’d like to thank everyone at Port Vale who helped with the visit, and for the wonderful warm welcome they gave to John.”
Date published: 15 May 2019
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