Supporting care home residents Colchester United Football Club increased a little the number of fans in their Stadium, and became FaNs (friends and neighbours) themselves to grateful senior citizens.
After some gentle probing by FaNs visitors, it was discovered that some of the male residents in various care homes had quietly harboured a wish to relive their experience of live Football. They were, however, resigned to thinking that those days of male-bonding and heady excitement, with the roaring yells of encouragement of "Their Team", were forever behind them.
When Colchester United Football Club was approached by FaNs representatives, they were full of enthusiasm and willingness to co-operate in make the resident’s wishful thinking a reality.
Last Saturday afternoon albeit wet, windy and chilly, six male residents with their helpers and driver arrived at the Stadium and joined the 5,500 or so other football fans, half filling the sports ground
The Stewards, happily and helpfully took charge of the wheelchairs, and ushered the residents to a sheltered VIP location. Even the driver, who had expected to sit patiently in the bus for the duration of the Match, was given a free seat.
There was a welcoming cup of tea to greet them, and free parking. The seven foot tall Team Mascot "Eddie the Eagle”, set the tone of light hearted jollity, and the warm smiles of the buzzing crowd spoke volumes.
To be able again, after uncounted years, to join in the shouting and be immersed in manly-bonding was the best of therapies!
Although Colchester United lost the Match on this occasion, it was certainly a winner in its hospitality! Colchester United Football Club has extended its welcome to the appreciative care home residents as and when they are able to attend future games.
For the small pioneering group of residents, even the bus journey was exciting. It was the furthest that one of them had travelled (from Clacton) since his youth!
The description "Wonderful!" was frequently repeated. Colchester United Football Club must be congratulated on a WONDERFUL response to a latent wish. By supporting care home residents they increased a little the number of fans in the Stadium, and became FaNs (friends and neighbours) themselves to grateful senior citizens.