Former Sunderland AFC striker helps care home residents enjoy great matchday at Stadium of Light

From left, former SAFC footballer Lee Howey, Joseph Brazier, wellbeing co-ordinator Jay Malik and John Smith.
From left, former SAFC footballer Lee Howey, Joseph Brazier, wellbeing co-ordinator Jay Malik and John Smith.

Care home residents had a dream day out as they met a former Sunderland star at a Black Cats game.

Joe Brazier was a Sunderland AFC season ticket holder for many years, but he had not attended a match for some time due to his health.

Lee Howey gives a signed football to Joseph Brazier.

Lee Howey gives a signed football to Joseph Brazier.

One of his three wishes was to see Sunderland play at the Stadium of Light again, and Jay Malik, wellbeing co-ordinator at HC-ONce’s St Clare’s Court in Newton Aycliffe where he lives got straight to work to make Joe’s wish come true.

Ian Foggett, from Oomph! Out and About kindly offered transport to and from the football stadium on the day of the home side’s game against Coventry City earlier this month.

On the day, Joe and fellow resident and football fan John Smith, who is a Middlesbrough supporter, attended the game, which ended up being a nine-goal thriller.

Joe was very emotional throughout the day and especially at half-time when former Sunderland player Lee Howey came over and presented Joe with a signed football.

Although the final score was a 5-4 win for the visitors, Joe said he still had the most amazing day and was very excited to tell everyone about it on his and John’s return to St Clare’s Court.

St Clare’s Court home manager Michelle Jones said: “Seeing the smile on Joe’s face is priceless.

“Organising special moments like this is an important part of how St Clare’s Court and HC-One provides the kindest care.”