Football stars make Rod’s final wish come true

PUBLISHED: 10:50 19 August 2012

Rod Mumford, proudly wearing his signed Torquay United shirt.

Rod Mumford, proudly wearing his signed Torquay United shirt.

Archant

A WESTON granddad with only weeks to live was able to see his beloved football heroes for a final time – thanks to the kindness of strangers.

Rod Mumford has battled a heart attack and undergone a triple bypass, as well as fighting stomach cancer so severe surgeons had to remove his stomach altogether.

He has now been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and doctors say there is nothing more they can do for him.

But on Friday, the devout Torquay United fan was treated to a magical match-day visit, thanks to the efforts of doctors at Weston General Hospital and officials at Weston Football Club.

The Seagulls were hosting Torquay in a pre-season friendly, and doctors and club bosses linked up to arrange a surprise trip for 71-year-old Rod.

Not only was the Milton Road resident able to attend the match, which the visitors won 3-0, he was introduced to all their players and presented with a signed club shirt.

Rod’s delighted daughter Alison told the Mercury: “My dad has been a Torquay United fan for over 40 years and was devastated that he would not be able to attend his last Torquay United v Weston match.

“A wonderful doctor personally telephoned Weston Football Club and organised with them for my dad to attend.

“The staff at Weston hospital organised all the details as a surprise for my dad, and the doctor telephoned my mum Eileen out of the blue to say he can go.

“When I arrived with my dad at Weston Football Club they were marvellous. They presented my dad with a T-shirt signed by all the players from Torquay United.

“After the match the Torquay players each in turn shook my dad’s hand and chatted to him, showing so much appreciation for his continued support and loyalty to Torquay United.

“All the staff were lovely, a major thanks to them all for showing so much care and making his evening so special.

“It was lovely, and very emotional all round. I am so pleased to be able to say how proud I am of my courageous and lovely dad.

“It was truly a wonderful evening for my dad - his wish came true.”

Alison offered a thank you to the hospital and football club on behalf of her family, including her brother Steve and sister Jill.


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