A St Andrew’s Hospice patient from Grimsby ticked a huge item off his ‘bucket list’ when a former Grimsby Town player and manager paid him a visit at the hospice, complete with his FA Cup Final Winners’ Medal.
Glenn Beedie is a patient at the hospice and had always dreamed of holding an FA Cup Winners’ Medal and he was able to realise that dream thanks to staff at the hospice and a former top-flight football star.
Graham Rodger played for Grimsby Town between 1992 and 1998, before going onto manage the Mariners in 2006.
But before he moved to North-East Lincolnshire, Graham played for Coventry City in the old First Division and won the FA Cup with the Sky Blues in 1987, playing in the final when they beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 after extra time.
And he was only too pleased to visit the hospice to meet Glenn and wife Lillian.
He said: “I was only 20 when I won the cup, at the time I was one of the youngest players to ever win it.
“It was the highlight of my career and I was then fortunate enough to go on and have some great times with Grimsby.
“It’s surprising, but not many people ask about my cup final appearance, I think because it came so early in my career.
“But I was delighted to come to the hospice and share my memories with Glenn – it is important as players and ex-players that we give something back to the fans that have supported us.”
For Glenn and his wife, football has played a massive part in their lives, right up until the present day.
Lillian explained: “I was a big fan of Bobby Moore (England’s World Cup winning captain) when I was younger and I was lucky enough to meet him and get his autograph when he played for Fulham in the 1970s.
“We got engaged at Hull City when Fulham were playing there and then we went down to Fulham when we got married.
“We were lucky enough to get a tour of the ground (Craven Cottage) from the chairman – it was a great experience.
“The whole family has supported the Mariners for years and that will continue for years to come – our grandson McKenzie is currently in the Grimsby Town Academy.”
Glenn, who uses an iPad to communicate, told Graham about one of his favourite Grimsby Town players, Jim Dobbin.
“Jim was a former team-mate of mine and in my mind was a much underrated player,” said Graham, who is now the Mariners’ Community Officer and Chief Scout.
“He was an excellent passer of the ball and knew how to take care of himself on the pitch.
“Perhaps his most famous moment was scoring the winning goal at Newcastle to break their record run.”
Graham continued: “Dave Beasant (ex-England international) made his debut for us in goal and we played really well on the day but we would have been happy with a 0-0 draw.
“But Jim had other ideas. He got the ball about 30 yards out and we were all screaming at him to ‘put it in the corner’, as a way of running down the clock at the end of the game.
“But he has hit this unstoppable shot into the goal and, when he left the field, he turned around to us all and smirked ‘I thought you meant the top corner’!”
Holding an FA Cup Winners’ Medal and spending time reminiscing about the Mariners brought a smile to Glenn’s face.
He said: “My illness may end up taking my life but it will never take away my memories.
“Holding an FA Cup Winners’ Medal was one of my life’s dreams and now that is complete – thank you to Graham and the hospice for making this possible.”