David Mooney and Chris Dagnall enjoyed a special day at St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney on Thursday as they officially opened the newly refurbished area of the building and played dominoes with some of the users of the hospice whilst also making a lifelong O’s fan’s day!
St Joseph’s Hospice is an independent charity set in the heart of east London providing compassionate support and care for people with life-limiting conditions and terminal illnesses covering Hackney and the City of London, Newham and Tower Hamlets, both at the hospice and by home visits.
One thing the O’s strikers were not expecting was to meet one of their biggest fans at St Joseph’s, but Dennis has supported Orient since he was five years old and after around 70 years of dedication to the club, he is no longer able to get to the games due to his very bad health.
Mooney spent some time talking to Dennis before disappearing to his car and returning with an Orient training shirt which he signed and gave to Dennis as a gift. In pure delight, Dennis exclaimed, “I’ve finally got one! Wicked! I’m going to wear it to bed instead of my pyjamas! I don’t think that I will take it off.”
Determined to get Dennis to a game at Brisbane Road as soon as possible, the club has now organized for Dennis to be our guest at an upcoming home game and Mooney has already promised to meet him upon his arrival and look after him for the day.
This was David’s fourth year in a row visiting St Joseph’s but making Dennis’ day particularly touched the Irishman. At the end of the afternoon, Mooney said, “It was a thoroughly enjoyable day. We met a life long fan who had been supporting Orient for 70 years, I managed to give him a signed shirt and he went home with a smile on his face and to be fair, I’m going home with a smile on my face too. It has really made my day. We have had a great day. A big thanks to everyone here.”
The O’s pair also opened the new reception area of St Joseph’s, a state of the art section that has had a bright and modern make-over and Mooney had the pleasure of cutting the ribbon and officially opening the new addition to the hospice. Dagnall then had the honour of cutting an impressive cake, made to celebrate the relationship between the O’s and St Joseph’s, and a big thanks goes out to Rose Charles who made the spectacular cake, designed as a football pitch with a football wrapped in a Leyton Orient scarf.
They then spent time enjoying games of dominoes with some of the folks that use the hospice for respite care, ‘Dags’ not quite managing a victory whilst Mooney bagged a brace! More time chatting with residents and staff and having some photographs with some very happy fans ensued.
St Joseph’s Hospice Chief Executive Michael Kerin said, “It meant such a lot to our patients, staff and volunteers to see David and Chris at St Joseph’s Hospice, particularly the Leyton Orient fans who were over the moon to meet their heroes. You could see that they really enjoyed being here, playing dominoes and taking the time to talk to everyone and have their pictures taken. We really do appreciate their time and all look forward to their next visit.”
Dagnall said, “It was really good to see everybody again and have a game of dominoes and a cup of tea with them. It was a really enjoyable day and I will look forward to next time.”
To see a video of the day, featuring the special moment when Mooney presented his signed shirt to Dennis, click here We also have some photos on the day at www.facebook.com/lofcofficial