Cooper House care home residents in Bradford were thrilled this Christmas when one of the most respected figures in modern-day rugby league visited to share in their celebrations.
Bradford Bulls captain Leon Pryce, who retired this year at the age of 35 after an outstanding playing career, attended the home with his young family to meet the residents and judge a Christmas decoration competition.
The former Great Britain and England half-back started his career with the club and returned for the 2017 season, becoming the first player to commit to the reformed outfit after Bradford were liquidated. Pryce also had spells with St Helens, Catalans and Hull FC.
He won four Super Leagues, five Challenge Cups and three World Club Championships in his career and made 11 appearances in all competitions for the Championship side this season. In October it was announced Pryce has been appointed the new head coach of League One club Workington.
He chose the home’s “Balmoral” unit as the winners, where staff and residents had worked together to create their special home-made decorations including a life-size Father Christmas.
Leon complimented the home which has 80 residents – in Cooper Lane – and the effort each unit had made, and spent a lot of time talking to residents and staff. The home is run by Priory Adult Care for older people requiring residential and nursing care. Priory Adult Care is part of the Priory Group, the mental healthcare specialists.
Sarah Horner, Home Manager, said: “We were so chuffed that Leon took time out of his busy schedule to come here with his family. It had a big impact on staff and residents, and was a real morale booster.
“Our residents love to have visitors and Leon chatted happily with everyone he met here and was such a delightful person. It made our Christmas, and we wish him all the very best for 2018.”