Perthshire Advertiser

Saints-daft Tommy is up for the cup Pensioner so grateful for lockdown support

- MELANIE BONN

An 84-year-old St Johnstone fan who has been supported through lockdown by a club legend says he cannot wait for this weekend’s Betfred Cup final.

Tommy Hancock will be donning his blue and white scarf on Sunday when Saints look to bring the trophy to Perth for the first time when they face Livingston at Hampden.

During the dark months and long days of this winter, Tommy, from Methven, has been getting friendly with ex-player and current youth coach Danny Griffin.

Usually at Christmas, community trusts and associated SPFL clubs host a three-course festive lunch with entertainm­ent for people in the community at their home stadium, but COVID-19 knocked that out.

So, as part of their Festive Friends at Home 2020 campaign, St Johnstone Saints in the Community Trust delivered good cheer and a festive box containing plenty to occupy the minds of elderly fans trapped at home for Christmas.

Hampers were delivered to 22 men and eight women, aged 58 to 94, including Tommy, whose gift was delivered by Danny.

Danny also chatted with Tommy as part of the Saints in the Community initiative.

Those talks have helped keep Tommy’s spirits up through lockdown – but his spirits will be sky high if Saints can do the job on Sunday.

“I’m so looking forward to seeing the big game this Sunday,” Tommy told the PA.

“I’m really willing on Saints to take the title.”

Tommy, who remembers climbing over the fence at Muirton Park to watch the team, has been self-isolating through both lockdowns and says the support from Danny and the Saints in the Community initiative has been a lifeline through lockdown.

“I miss being out and about, down the street talking to folk,” he said.

“It’s always football mind. That’s what it’s all about, fitba and having a wee joke, it keeps me young.

“The gift box was packed with lovely stuff.

“The wee activity book inside took me back. It’s no substitute for talking to others about the game, but brings back nice times.

“It’s been tough, being stuck at home with this virus out there, but I’m lucky to have people around me that care.

“I like when Saints come to visit and we can have a chat about the games.

“I don’t always remember all the scores, but Danny keeps me right.”

Retired bricklayer Tommy was nominated to receive the friendly reach-out gesture after his neighbour Catherine Scott, owner of Methven Post Office, referred him for some special treatment.

“Tommy is quite a character, I see him every day,” explained the postmistre­ss of 20 years, who was part of the St Johnstone Fitness for Women group .

“I have known him for a long time and before the lockdown he was very socially active, going into Perth to watch matches in pubs and to meet up for lunch at the Blind Club.

“He may be in his 80s but Tommy can give you a run for your money.

“I knew because of his love of the game he would love to be involved in the Football Memories project run by Saints in the Community.”

Tommy’s box contained festive goodies, a memory lane activity book and a bonus video message from first-team player Stevie May.

 ??  ?? Cheering on the
Saints St Johnstone FC fan Tommy Hancock and neighbour Catherine Scott
Cheering on the Saints St Johnstone FC fan Tommy Hancock and neighbour Catherine Scott

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