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John, 92, and Antonio, 89, enjoy VIP access at Forest Green


Two residents from a Stroud care home were delighted to be granted VIP access to their local football club.

When the team at Care UK’s Scarlet House, on Westward Road, learned that 89-year-old Antonio Taborda and 92-year-old John Mandeville were keen to experience the thrills of a live match again, they reached out to the home’s local football team, Forest Green Rovers to make it happen.

The avid football fans, Antonio and John, were thrilled to be invited to watch the team play against MK Dons with their gifted season passes, as well as wear their new team shirts and scarves also gifted by the Forest Green Rovers to ensure they had the full football fan feeling.

Speaking of the experience, Antonio said: “I loved the atmosphere – it reminded me of being a young boy supporting Sporting Lisbon and, later in life, Arsenal.

“I still watch football most days and I enjoyed the World Cup immensely – I’m really looking forward to going back to watch Forest Green Rovers again!”

John added: “I’ve always been a ‘quiet’ football fan in a rugby dominated country, so I loved every moment of it – especially the hospitality! The result was a shame but, with their new manager, I’m hopeful!”

Lyndsey Dixon, Home Manager at Scarlet House, said: “Both John and Antonio are really into their football – they love to watch games together at the home and are always discussing various fixtures and scores.

“When the team here at Scarlet House reached out to the Forest Green Rovers to see if we could take John and Antonio to watch a game or two, we were over the moon to receive season passes for the gents – and for our team members too! John and Antonio were thrilled to get all kitted up in their shirts and scarves and didn’t stop smiling all day, despite the score!

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to our team here at Scarlet House and the team over at Forest Green Rovers for making this such a wonderful experience for John and Antonio. We can’t wait for the next match.”

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