ELDERLY gentlemen from Teesside care homes have been treated to a tour of Middlesbrough FC’s Riverside Stadium to celebrate International Men’s Day.
A group of 16 residents living in care homes in Middlesbrough and Stockton-on-Tees spent the day exploring the 35,000-seater stadium.
Many of them are lifelong fans of The Boro and remembered watching matches when there was stand-up room only on the terraces.
The tour was organised by Claire Streeter, of the Middlesbrough FC Foundation National Citizenship Service, for the residents at four Hill Care Group homes in Teesside.
They include Ingleby, Mandale House, The Beeches care homes, in Stockton on Tees, and The Gables Care Home, in Middlesbrough.
Claire said: “Working in partnership with Hill Care has been fantastic and the opportunities they have provided for young people we work with on MFC Foundation programmes has been great.
“Recently, we were delighted to be able to offer the residents of these homes an opportunity to visit the Riverside Stadium and enjoy a tour of all the facilities.”
Kirsty Walsh, activities coordinator for Ingleby Care Home, in Ingleby Barwick, said: “It was fabulous to be able to go on an outing with residents from all our sister homes.
“It’s great to see our residents meeting one another and making new friendships. Their mutual love of The Boro and the tour ensured lively conversation all day and lots of reminiscing about past visits to see the team play.”
Sarah Robinson, activities coordinator for Mandale House Care Home, in Thornaby, took resident William ‘Billy’ James along.
She said: “Sadly, Billy doesn’t have any relatives, which can be very hard around this time of year. We’re Billy’s family, so we’re going to print the photo of him at the ground onto canvas and present it to him at Christmas.”
Billy, 81, said: “What a magnificent stadium. The seating is better than when I was a boy standing on the terraces.”
Ingleby resident John Hynes, 62, is a long-time Liverpool supporter. He said: “It was nice to see another football ground, even though it’s not Anfield.”