Hospice patient Richard gets the VIP Elland Road treatment for Leeds United v Manchester City match

Big hearted staff from Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice became match-makers for a huge Leeds United fan in their care recently, securing special seats at Elland Road to watch the Leeds v Man City game.

By richard.beecham richard.beecham
Friday, 20th May 2022, 4:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 4:31 pm

After hearing her patient Richard Bainbridge was a huge Leeds United fan, Sue Ryder Nurse Maegan Robinson, teamed up with the hospice fundraising team with one goal in mind.

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Richard suffers from lung cancer, and has been treated at the Wheatfields Hospice in Headingley.

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Richard, centre, takes in the Elland Road atmosphere.

But after a word from his nurse, he was able to enjoy the five-star treatment at Elland Road, with hospitality, a three course meal, meeting ex players and watching Leeds take on reigning Premier League champions Manchester City.

“Having known Richard since October 2021, I was well aware of his love for football and dedication to Leeds United,” Maegan said. “During one particular home visit Richard mentioned in conversation that his one regret was not attending a Leeds game.

"His wife Sharon said that it would be his dream to see a Leeds game but they both felt this was impossible.

“Richard is a remarkable gentleman who has been through so much since he was diagnosed. His wife Sharon and wider family are incredible and have been exceptionally supportive. I wanted to make this happen for them.”

After Maegan got in touch with the club, Leeds United agreed to put on an afternoon to remember for Richard.

After attending the match on April 30 along with family members Bethany Bainbridge, Ryan Mountford and Alan Darnborough, Richard said: “I am truly thankful to Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice for making my dream a reality.

“The day went so smoothly from start to finish. We had some top swanky food, including salmon and duck. No chips in sight!

“I even had the opportunity to meet a few ex-Leeds United players and some old friends.

“From watching the game to going home was an overwhelming experience and one that I will never forget. Big thank you to Leeds United for making this happen.

“I was buzzing for hours after returning home and it took me a while to come down from what had been a fantastic experience.

“This wasn’t only a big day for me but also my family. We were able to make special memories that will live with us forever.

“I am speechless. Thank you again for all who made this happen!”

James Mooney, head of communications at Leeds United, said: "It was an honour to host Richard at Elland Road for the game against Manchester City, and we are delighted to hear that he enjoyed the experience. Maegan and the staff at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice clearly do an amazing job, going above and beyond the call of duty and we look forward working together in the future to offer support for more patients."

Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice is based in Headingley in Leeds and provides expert palliative care and bereavement support to people living right across the local area through its inpatient care, virtual day therapy services, community services, family bereavement support, rehabilitation, complementary therapies and spiritual care.