Oxford United FC super fan, Maureen ‘Mo’ Wise, got the surprise of a lifetime when the coaches of her favourite football team paid her a visit.
Mo, 77, who lives at Launton Grange care home on Skimmingdish Lane, has been an Oxford United FC supporter since she can remember. She and her husband, Ronald, never missed an Oxford United game, home or away. Unfortunately, Mo hadn’t been able to attend a match since 2017, just before Ronald sadly passed away.
When Mo told the carers at Launton Grange about her devotion to her favourite team, they reached out to Oxford United’s charity arm, Oxford United in the Community.
Much to Mo’s surprise, three coaches from Oxford United in the Community came to visit her at Launton Grange, presenting her with a football shirt and scarf, and free front row tickets to their next game at the Kassam Stadium. One of the coaches, Mark Thomas, said:
‘It was an absolute pleasure to visit Mo and invite her to the stadium to watch her beloved team. After all her years of support for our club, it was nice to be able to give something back.’
When match day came, a local taxi company, Alpha Cars, who have known Mo for 25 years, picked her up in a Rolls Royce to take her to the stadium. Two carers, Stefanie Watson and Hanna Kirby, accompanied Mo to the match. People from Launton Grange and the local community came to wave her off and wish her good luck for the day.
Mo’s family and friends were waiting for her in the VIP section of Kassam Stadium, where she also met members of the Oxford United FC team.
Mo loved watching the game, and was even invited onto the pitch at half time to draw a raffle prize in front of the crowds. She was so happy to be able to stand on the pitch where she had watched so many matches.
When the game ended, Mo took Stefanie and Hanna to see the brick that her and her husband had bought when the Kassam Stadium was built. Stefanie said:
“Mo had the biggest smile when she was showing off the brick with her and her husband’s name on that was used when the Kassam Stadium was built. I felt so privileged to have shared this day with Mo and Hanna.”
Overwhelmed with all the surprises from the day, Mo expressed her gratitude to everyone who helped to make her day so special. She said:
‘This day made me feel so important. I thought I was just going to see the football, I never expected to be picked up in a Rolls Royce and put in the VIP section. The send off was such a surprise, and standing on the pitch for the first time was amazing.
‘I am very grateful to Hanna and Stefanie for coming with me, and to everyone involved. The day couldn’t have been any better.’
Home Manager at Launton Grange, Paul Turvey, said:
‘I am constantly in awe of the amazing team here at Launton Grange, and the lengths they go to to ensure our residents have every opportunity to continue being the people they are, and have always been. Thank you to Team Launton and everyone who supported us from the local community to make this dream a reality for Mo.’
Launton Grange, located in Bicester, is a residential and dementia care home operated by Ideal Carehomes. It has all the finishing touches you would expect from a warm and welcoming home, with luxurious social spaces, attractive décor and freely accessible, secure, gardens. All 66 bedrooms are en-suite, enabling staff to deliver person-centred care in a dignified manner, promoting independence as far as possible.