Football fan Stephen was given a once in a lifetime opportunity – the chance to lift the cup alongside one of his heroes.
Stephen Foster, who is a patient at St Ann’s Hospice, watched the weekend’s game from his bed in the charity’s Heald Green site, cheering his beloved Stockport County on as they won the National League title and secured promotion back to the Football League.
Seeing a photo of him watching the game from the hospice on Twitter, the club put into action a plan to surprise patients with a visit – including taking the trophy along for people at the hospice to see.
Stephen Foster said: “I’ve been supporting County since 1968. I’ve seen good matches, and I’ve seen bad matches. I’ve even been to Wembley five times.
“And then the day they got promoted I couldn’t be there, but I watched it here at St Ann’s Hospice, and, if I had been at the match, I wouldn’t be holding the trophy now!”
Steve Bellis, Club President, who took the trophy along, said: “This is what it’s all about. Trophies are for the fans, they don’t belong in cabinets!
“Someone like Stephen who has been supporting since 1968 – that’s a lot of matches that he has watched, and to put a smile on his face was fantastic.
“That’s what the club is all about, it’s about the community, everywhere we take it, if we bring a smile to someone’s day, then it’s all worthwhile.”
Hospice Chief Executive, Rachel McMillan, said: “What a fantastic thing for Stockport County to do for Stephen and the rest of our patients. It was really exciting for patients, visitors and staff to have the opportunity to see the trophy and hold it too.
“When they think of hospices, people often think that they are sad places, and of course we have very sad days. But, we’re always really focussed on making sure we can help support our patients to achieve their goals too – whether that’s being able to walk to the bathroom or sit in our café for a drink, or hold aloft the cup from their beloved football team!
“Huge thanks to Steve Bellis and the team at Stockport County. You’ve made our day.”
St Ann’s Hospice supports patients from its sites in Heald Green and Little Hulton, as well as via a range of community and outreach services. It is one of the oldest and largest hospices in the UK, and this year will be embarking on an ambitious project for a new building on land adjacent to its current site on St Ann’s Road North in Heald Green.
For more information on the hospice, please visit www.sah.org.uk
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Stephen Foster, centre, was surprised by Steve Bellis, Club President from Stockport County. Also pictured, left to right, Stephen’s grandson Olly, son Marc and his daughter in law Kelly who is a nurse at the hospice.
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Clinical staff from the hospice were thrilled to have a chance to hold the cup in celebration of Stockport County’s recent victory
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Stephen Foster and son Marc admiring the trophy
I’ve also attached the picture that was shared on Twitter on match day that is referred to in the copy below, in case that’s helpful too. It was shared by Kelly, who is a nurse at the hospice, with a caption: “Stephen is a life long Stockport County fan. He couldn’t attend the match yesterday as he is receiving specialist palliative care at St Ann’s Hospice. This is Stephen watching County get promoted to League 2 yesterday. This is Hospice care! #Hospicecare #Hospice #PalliativeCare”