Sur­prise visit for big Macc Town fan, 82

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

ATERMINALLY ill foot­ball fan re­ceived a sur­prise visit from the man­ager of his beloved team.

Nor­man Gosling, 82, has been a sup­porter of Mac­cles­field Town FC for 75 years.

He was di­ag­nosed with ter­mi­nal can­cer in De­cem­ber and had been bravely fight­ing the dis­ease at East Cheshire Hospice sur­rounded by his friends and fam­ily.

But the great-gran­dad was given a real boost when Macc Town man­ager John Askey dropped by to check on him.

His grand­son Carl Lamptey, who ar­ranged for the sur­prise visit with the help of the Ex­press, de­scribed the meet­ing as ‘very emo­tional’.

He said: “Nor­man has been there in the ter­races, home and away, for the highs and lows for 75 years. You’d be hard pressed to find a big­ger fan of the club. With what he’s been through in re­cent months I wanted to give him a nice sur­prise and asked the club if they could help. We were so touched when John agreed to come and see Nor­man, whose face was a pic­ture when he just walked in. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place. It was very emo­tional. That visit from John made Nor­man’s day and we’ll al­ways be grate­ful.”

Nor­man has now re­turned home to Re­druth Av­enue, Bro­ken Cross, to spend his fi­nal days with Betty, his wife of 58 years, his chil­dren Jane and Martin, his five grand­chil­dren and five great grand­chil­dren.

Carl, 38, said: “Nor­man’s ill­ness has come as a shock to ev­ery­one and we’re tak­ing it one day at a time. De­spite ev­ery­thing, he’s in good spir­its.”

Askey, who was joined by the club’s com­mer­cial man­ager Dan Ack­er­ley, de­scribed the visit as ‘hum­bling’. He said: “Nor­man has been a sup­porter of the club all his life and is still very pas­sion­ate about it and is still keep­ing in touch with what’s go­ing on with the club. Vis­it­ing him is the least I can do as thanks for the length of time he has been a sup­porter.”

The Silk­men isn’t Nor­man’s only pas­sion. He is be­lieved to be the town’s old­est scout, hav­ing joined the or­gan­i­sa­tion when he was seven.

The re­tired ac­coun­tant has risen up the ranks to be­come pres­i­dent of Mac­cles­field and Con­gle­ton Scouts As­so­ci­a­tion and was given the Sil­ver Wolf, the high­est award made by the Scout As­so­ci­a­tion. He has even writ­ten a book on the his­tory of Mac­cles­field and Con­gle­ton District Scouts, called Big Hats, Shorts and Dyb Dyb Dyb.

Mac­cles­field Town FC man­ager John Askey greets Nor­man Gosling, who has fol­lowed the team for a stag­ger­ing 75 years

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