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By Elly Langmuir, Marketing Partner - 30th March 2022

One Last Football Wish 

Goals took a call back in mid-January from a gentleman who was looking to arrange a football match for a very special friend in his life who had been facing many challenges at that time in a bid to make his day. Our Customer Service team let the man know that this was something we could arrange and put them in contact with our Sunderland club to assist.

The gentleman’s friend, John had sadly been diagnosed with a terminal illness and the reason he was looking to arrange a match was to let John re-live his former football glory and enjoy a day with his friends and family. Goals Sunderland began immediately setting up John’s day and by doing so formed a fantastic relationship with John and those involved.

After a short conversation with the team at Sunderland, they discovered that football has been a passion of John’s for his entire life. John played with a team back in the 80’s and had actually won a cup for their efforts. Sunderland team members wanted to celebrate this with John and his family and friends so decided to get the photo from that winning cup and frame it as a gift for him.

After a couple of weeks planning, the club put together a day for John to remember! He came along and played a game of football and had a great catch up with his family and friends, some he hadn’t seen in many years and was presented with his framed winning team photo from back in the 80’s. The team at Sunderland didn’t stop there; they were so touched by John’s story, they decided to honour him with an engraved shield to be used in an annual tournament at the club, in John’s name.

John’s day was a complete success as he left on a high from sharing his passion for football with his nearest and dearest. However, this was short lived as the Sunderland team were later told that John had been taken into a hospice and tragically passed just a few days later. The club were devasted by this news, following such a lovely experience they had shared just a short few weeks earlier. The team were comforted by John’s family who advised John had taken the photos from the match day at Goals Sunderland into the hospice. John’s family explained this was one of his final beloved memories.

It will take some time for John’s family and friends to fully heal from his passing but are very grateful that his life will be honoured at Goals, as there will be an annual football tournament taking place in his name.