After yesterday's annual Lister Hospital visit, Stevenage FC players have continued distributing Christmas cheer this afternoon by visiting a young local Boro fan recovering after a recent operation.
Matthew Bucktrout, who turns 14 on Saturday and is one of the club’s ball boys, is now back at home after a recent back operation but was cheered when Peter Hartley and Sam Wedgbury dropped in after training with some special gifts.
The players presented Matthew with a signed card and home shirt from the team before sitting and chatting with him about his operation, the season so far and much more, including some helpful playing tips for Matthew, who is usually a centre-back for the Pin Green Juniors U14s.
The club will also be providing DVDs of its recent fixtures so Matthew doesn’t miss out on any of the action during his recovery.
Steve Bucktrout, Matthew’s dad, told us, “Matthew was diagnosed with a back problem earlier this year which led to his recent surgery. He now has a lengthy recovery period of some six weeks before he will get back to school and then a further 12 months or so before he will get back to playing football again.
“As a keen footballer it’s been frustrating for him not being able to play. I was therefore looking for ways to keep his spirits up whilst he is recovering and contacted the club to see if they could send a get-well card.
“To get Peter and Sam turn up on the doorstep with some presents was fantastic. It means a lot to Matthew to have the players come round and, to be honest, I haven't seen him smile so much since he had the operation. Stevenage Football Club has always taken pride in being community focused and I’d like to thank the club for its generosity.”
Dave Toyn, Marketing, Media & Communications Manager at the club, commented, “When Steve got in touch with us and told us about Matthew’s operation we were extremely keen to help out. However rather than just a simple card we thought we’d go one step further.
"With it being the festive period and his birthday in just a few days, what better way than to surprise Matthew with a few early presents hand-delivered by the players!
“Both Sam and Peter were happy to help out and took time to speak to Matthew and his family about a whole host of subjects, ranging from his operation and school to the season so far and FIFA 14.
“We’d like to wish Matthew a speedy recovery and hope to see him back at The Lamex soon. Hopefully we can now pick up a win on Saturday to help him celebrate his birthday in style!”