A ROTHERHAM United fan who first saw a match over seven decades ago got a surprise when her care home received a box of Millers memorabilia.
The Rotherham United Community Sports Trust sent the box as part of their “Tackling Loneliness Together” campaign – aimed at supporting over-70s to reduce or end their feelings of loneliness.
The memorabilia box contained a 2021 calendar, mug, pen, and jersey, which Ann was quick to don when she found it. She said: “Oh I say, isn’t that marvellous.”
The box sparked many fond memories for Ann, who recalled meeting her friends at Millmoor every week on matchday when she was a teenager.
She said: “Going to the see the matches with my friends are some of my happiest memories. Up the Millers, we would shout.
“Sometimes, after the matches, we would go round the back of the stadium and chat with the players.
“My dad used to go and see them play as well, as he was a very good footballer himself, but he never took me because it was a lads thing, he used to say.”
As part of the campaign, the RUFC Community Sports Trust is arranging for a first team player to give Ann a video call at the home.
Emma Schofield, health and wellbeing manager at Rotherham United Community Sports Trust, said: “Working on the EFL Trust’s Tackling Loneliness Together programme over the last eight months has been a true privilege.
“Being able to offer friendship, support and someone to lean on to those who are lonely or isolated is one of the most important roles we have taken on at the Trust.
“For people like Ann, the mention of Rotherham United sparks so many happy memories that clearly lift her spirit and take her through emotions of happiness and excitement.
“The opportunity to speak with a first team player is always something that excites fans and we hope it is something Ann will be telling people about for weeks afterwards.
“We also hope that each time Ann drinks from her mug, uses her pen, or wears her shirt, it will be an opportunity to spark those memories and happy emotions. In the words of Ann, up the Millers!”
Lindsey Grady, home manager at Broadacres Care Home, said: “We’d like to say a big thank you to the Rotherham United Community Sports Trust for sending the memorabilia box.
“Ann was absolutely delighted to look through the items and put on the shirt. It sparked many happy memories for her, from her younger years attending games with her friends.
“We’re all very much looking forward to the call from the first team player. We can’t wait to see who it will be.”