Lifelong football fan Ken Bryant, a resident at Care UK’s Asterbury Place, was given the full VIP treatment when he attended an Ipswich Town football game to celebrate his 95th birthday.
The visit was part of the home’s ‘Wishing Tree’ initiative, which encourages residents to put wishes forward - whether they want to reconnect with a past hobby or try something completely new. From flying on a plane, to enjoying a fish and chip supper, no wish is too big or small.
Born in London, Ken grew up as an avid supporter of his local team, Tottenham Hotspur. At the age of 18, Ken joined the British Army, where he served for four years before working in a factory which supplied items for the Royal Air Force. When he moved to Ipswich, Ken continued to enjoy football, and often attended the games at Portman Road stadium.
Now living at Asterbury Place with his wife, Margaret, Ken still loves to watch the matches on television and often reminisces about his beloved memories of attending the games in person. So, when the Care UK team discovered he had not been to a game in over 15 years, they decided to organise a surprise visit to Portman Road stadium.
When Ken was told about his special trip, he was overcome with emotion, and couldn’t wait to attend a football match again. During the trip, Ken was treated to a three-course meal in the Sir Bobby Robson suite, before taking his VIP seat to enjoy the action.
The day was made even more special when former Ipswich Town player, John Wark, popped by to say hello and spend some time getting to know Ken.
Christine Da Silva, home manager at Asterbury Place, said: “Everyone at Asterbury Place knows how much Ken loves football, and our team members love chatting to him about how each team is doing in the league. It was fantastic to be able to grant Ken’s wish to watch an Ipswich Town game again, and it was even more special that he was able to get to know former player, John Wark.”
Ken added: “I loved being back up in the stands and able to see the action up close. The atmosphere was as electric as I’d remembered, and meeting John Wark really was the icing on the cake! The trip brought back so many happy memories of going to football games, which is something that has been a huge part of my life.”
Asterbury Place is a modern, purpose-built home that provides nursing and residential care, as well as dementia care on a short-term and permanent basis.
For more information on Asterbury Place, please call home manager Christine Da Silva, on 0333 999 7643 , or email email@example.com
For more general information, please visit careuk.com/asterbury-place-ipswich
"It was fantastic to be able to grant Kens wish to watch an Ipswich Town game again, and it was even more special that he was able to get to know former player, John Wark."
Christine Da Silva, home manager