Long-time Rovers supporter Irene Holt got a Mother’s Day surprise as she became the first Rovers matchday VIP on Saturday.
The 87-year-old has had a difficult time over the past 12-months and has only recently returned home from hospital after battling with COVID-19. Football and her beloved Rovers – who she has been following since before world war two - have been one of the things that have helped her through a difficult period.
This weekend, Irene’s daughter June worked with the club to give her mother the best possible matchday experience in these challenging times.
June said: “This year has been difficult for everyone and particularly isolating for my mum. She herself became victim to COVID, but fought back and was discharged in January. Her dream is to get back watching matches in person again.
“When I was contacted by the club with the news mum was to be the VIP for the game, I knew that she would be super excited and proud to be given this opportunity. I didn’t mention this to mum until Friday night as I knew she would be so giddy she would not sleep.”
Irene and June joined skipper Tom Anderson on a Zoom call. Anderson took them on a tour of the changing room so she could meet the first team squad ahead of the game and Irene also had chance to chat with manager Andy Butler. Irene walked out of the tunnel with Tom Anderson via an iPad.
June added: “Her amazement at the technology was a delight, her innocence being on her first Zoom call. At first, she was just nodding her head with me prompting her to speak, she couldn’t grasp the concept that this was happening live and the people she could see on screen were able to hear her.
“The thrill of talking to the team and how obliging everyone was waving, having a word and making this a memorable experience for her, will stay with mum for life.
“Thank you to everyone who has made this possible. The team are doing well and should be proud. They have made my mum smile and that is worth more than anything.”