John Green celebrated his 91st birthday as special guest at Glentoran’s much anticipated Co. Antrim Shield quarter final match against Linfield at the Oval, through Age NI’s Befriending project that supports older people in the community.
John, from Carrickfergus, is a life-long supporter of the club and fulfilled his passion for the game with Niall Waterman, John’s friend who calls weekly for a social chat or an evening out as part of the initiative.
John said, ‘I’d like to say thanks to Glentoran and Age NI for organising the visit and for making my birthday a day to remember. Both myself and Niall really enjoyed it. We were well treated by John Moore who met us at the gate of the grounds, brought us to the Director's lounge for pre-game drinks and a tour of the trophy cabinet, presented us with match programmes and invited us back to the boardroom for tea and snacks at half-time.’
Niall said, ‘I knew that John’s birthday was the day after the Co. Antrim Shield match so I asked Age NI if they’d contact the club to get us a couple of tickets… and they did! Although he no longer lives in East Belfast, John is still a dedicated fan of Glentoran – it’s all he ever talks about! I’m privileged to accompany John to the game as he’s a wonderful person who is very much benefitting from the befriending service. This is giving him the attention he deserves!’
Glentoran Director, John Moore commented, ‘As a club that prides itself on community involvement, we were delighted to welcome John and Niall as our guests at this fixture. When John arrived, we’d a long chat as he walked around the boardroom and recounted his memories of coming to the Oval many years ago to support the Glens. It was great to have him back and hopefully he enjoyed returning ‘home’ to East Belfast. Unfortunately the result wasn’t what we’d hoped for but it was an entertaining game of football.’
Age NI’s Befriending service operates in Larne, Carrickfergus and Newtownabbey and plays a vital role in helping people in later life stay connected and involved with their community, especially those at risk of social isolation and loneliness. To find out more, please contact Úna Mulgrew on 0743 596 0543 or email email@example.com