A football loving resident from Wickmeads care home in Tuckton near Christchurch enjoyed a very special 100th birthday celebration with a VIP visit to AFC Bournemouth. Former professional footballer, Stan was treated to a guided tour at AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium with Assistant Club Secretary and Club Historian, Neil Vacher.
Stan played professional football in the 1940s and 1950s for clubs including Brockenhurst FC and Sway FC and both clubs sent their best wishes and gifts to mark his special day, including a picture of Stan and his Sway FC teammates winning the cup in 1947/48.
Staff and residents at Wickmeads joined in the celebrations, throwing a garden party for Stan at the home which was attended by many of his friends and family. Performer Steve Shappelle kept everyone entertained with jokes and songs, including some of Stan’s favourites. Particularly poignant was his rendition of Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll meet again’ with which Stan happily joined in.
During the Second World War, Stan was lucky enough to meet Dame Vera Lynn whilst serving out in Myanmar (formerly Burma) and exchanged communication with her and her family in later years. Wickmeads Activities Coordinator, Hudson, who helped arrange the celebrations for Stan, was pleased to present him with a mounted display featuring their letters, as well as a newspaper clipping of Dame Vera’s visit to the troops and photos of her, which really brought a tear to his eye. Stan was also thrilled to receive a birthday card from the Queen.
Tracey Walker, Home Manager at Wickmeads, said: “Turning 100 is a real milestone birthday so we were delighted to help Stan celebrate his big day, firstly with the garden party and then a trip to the Vitality Stadium. He certainly lives life to the full, as do all the residents in our care at Wickmeads.”
Please find accompanying video of Stan’s special birthday celebrations here: https://we.tl/t-uCeNgtwRRQ or find the Vimeo below.