North East Connected

Care home resident’s advice for Boro ahead of Luton match


A LIFELONG Middlesbrough FC fan has offered his advice to the team ahead of their critical match with Luton Town on Monday – after watching the Boro’s 3-1 victory over Hull City at The Riverside.

Ian Pearson, 75, a resident at Ingleby Care Home, Ingleby Barwick, attended the rollercoaster match on Wednesday evening after receiving tickets from the MFC Foundation.

When the team went 1-nil down, Ian had flashbacks to the last match he saw at the Riverside, when they lost by one goal. But three goals in six minutes for Boro after half-time had the pensioner jumping for joy.

Kirsty O’Connor, a fellow dyed in the wool fan, and activities coordinator at Ingleby Care Home, attended the match with Ian. She said: “Ian told me that the last time he went to see the team play was many moons ago and we got beat one-nil.

“He didn’t know if he was jinxed when we went one-nil down, but he jumped up and hugged me with a great big smile on his face three times in the space of six minutes as the team scored.”

The win has secured Boro’s play-off place but the upcoming match with Luton could lead to automatic promotion – dependent on current second place Sheffield United’s results.

Ian said: “Luton Town drew their match, which was good for us, but the Boro players need to keep calm when we play Luton on Monday. Keep believing in themselves and we’ll get that promotion spot.”

Ian has lived at Ingleby Care Home since March 2022 and has only attended one match at the Riverside – after the club moved in 1995.

He said: “I used to go and watch Boro play when the team was at the Ayresome Park ground and have only been to the Riverside once before.”

The opportunity to attend the Hull match, however, came from the Hill Care Group’s partnership with the MFC Foundation.

Pupils from the Foundation’s National Citizenship Service (NCS) have spent time at various Hill Care homes across Teesside – including Ingleby – renovating their gardens, playing games and conversing with residents, and raising money for the residents’ funds, which help pay for activities and outings.

Kirsty said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to the MFC Foundation for sending us tickets to Boro v Hull. I’ve been a fan forever and it was amazing to share that with Ian. We both had an amazing time. Our fingers are crossed for another win on Monday when we play Luton.”

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