Stockport County’s surprise for St Ann’s patient Stephen

Football fan Stephen was given a once in a lifetime opportunity – the chance to lift the cup alongside one of his heroes.

By News Team on May 18, 2022

Stephen Foster, one of our patients, watched the weekend’s game from his bed in our Heald Green hospice, 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 bringing the trophy along for people at the hospice to see.

Stephen Foster said: “I’ve been supporting County since 1958.  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 brought 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 1958 – 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.”

Our 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.”