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Allonsfield House resident John fulfils bucket list wish to return to Portman Road

When Allonsfield House care home resident John Lawrence was told he had a life-limiting illness staff wanted to help make his bucket list wishes come true.

Top of the list for the former Ipswich publican was a trip back to Portman Road where he had watched his team during their European glory days in the 1970s and 1980s.

Roxanne Cutajar, clinical lead nurse at the Kingsley Healthcare home in Campsea Ashe, near Woodbridge, contacted Ipswich Town’s disability liaison officer, Lee Smith, and was thrilled by his generous response.

Not only was Mr Lawrence, 78, invited as a guest to the Oxford United match, but he was given the chance to meet manager Paul Cook and CEO Mark Ashton.

He was accompanied into the ground by senior support worker Ben Miller who said: “He absolutely loved it despite the lack of goals. He really enjoyed himself all day.

“The CEO kindly invited him back to future matches and John said he would like to have lunch at the club and a tour of the ground as his next wish. We will be arranging that in the coming weeks.”

Mr Lawrence grew up in Felix Road, Nacton, and his lifelong interest in football began when he played for Murray Rangers as a teenager before joining the Army.

He later ran a pub in Foxhall Road, Ipswich for several years with his first wife.

Mr Lawrence, who has two grandsons, was an Ipswich season ticket holder and watched the team play abroad in Belgium, Italy and Holland; he remembers watching the team win the UEFA Cup against AZ Alkmaar.

Find out more about Allonsfield House nursing home
Author: Stephen Pullinger

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