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Toon Army elderly tour St James’ Park on International Men’s Day

BySam Schofield

Oct 21, 2018

A VIP tour around Newcastle United’s 52,000-seater stadium was enjoyed by Tyneside care home residents for International Men’s Day.

Elderly fans living at Waverley Lodge Care Home, in Lemington, near Newcastle, were invited to tour the stadium by the Newcastle United Foundation.

The Foundation’s National Citizenship Service coordinator, Jack Lennie, arranged for the residents to see the changing rooms, club museum, stands and other facilities.

Lifelong fan Jackie Ryan was one of those who visited the stadium, remembering many of the old players on pictures in the museum.

He said: “I used to go to watch the matches every weekend with my dad. They were good times.”

Fellow resident Alex Dawson was a season ticket holder. He said: “I never missed a match. I’m a big fan. Part of the Toon Army.”

Another resident, Tommy Moody said: “I had an amazing time. I’ve been to many games, but I have never seen the stadium like this. I liked the changing room the best.”

Norman Scott added: “I had a lovely day out. Thank you to the care home staff for taking me.”

Four Waverley Lodge Care Home staff members accompanied the residents during their tour, including Michelle Park, the home’s activities coordinator.

She said: “It was a brilliant day and a fantastic way to celebrate International Men’s Day. All the gentlemen enjoyed it immensely.

“We’d like to say a huge thank you to the Newcastle United Foundation for organising the tour for our residents.”