Kopel Box to help foot­ball fans suf­fer­ing de­men­tia.

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -


DUNDEE UNITED: Relics from golden days of Scot­tish game could help trig­ger mem­o­ries

An ap­peal has been launched for items which could help in the treat­ment of foot­ball fans suf­fer­ing from de­men­tia.

Dundee United Com­mu­nity Trust, along with the Arab Trust and the Foot­ball Mem­o­ries team, are look­ing for relics from the golden days of the Scot­tish game.

The part­ners hope to fill a “Kopel Box” with items that will help trig­ger mem­o­ries in peo­ple liv­ing with con­di­tions such as Alzheimer’s disease and early-on­set de­men­tia.

The Kopel Box takes its name from for­mer United leg­end Frank Kopel, who died four years ago af­ter liv­ing with de­men­tia.

Foot­ball Mem­o­ries al­ready works with boxes con­tain­ing items in­clud­ing an old foot­ball, old foot­ball boots, a replica vin­tage Scot­land foot­ball shirt, a Lion Ram­pant flag and a tar­tan tammy hat.

Fan favourites such as the old-style rat­tle, car­bolic soap and a jar of Bovril have also been col­lected.

Su­san Bat­ten, Arab Trust chair­woman, said: “Foot­ball Mem­o­ries makes a great con­tri­bu­tion to our com­mu­nity work and we would like to see the wider fan base in­volved in shap­ing the con­tents of the Frank Kopel Box.

“We are also look­ing to find a suitable place to dis­play the box when it is in use as it is a tremen­dous re­source.”

Mr Kopel’s wife Amanda spear­headed a tire­less cam­paign for free per­sonal care to be ex­tended to those un­der the age of 65 liv­ing with a de­bil­i­tat­ing ill­ness – some­thing which was not af­forded to Frank and his fam­ily.

The for­mer left-back was el­i­gi­ble for just 19 days of free per­sonal care be­fore his death in April 2014, de­spite liv­ing with his ill­ness for nearly six years.

The Courier-backed cam­paign be­came known as Frank’s Law, and se­cured a host of high-pro­file sup­port­ers, in­clud­ing ten­nis ace Andy Mur­ray and Prince Al­bert of Monaco.

Scot­tish health min­is­ter Jeane Free­man MSP has promised that the Bill to in­tro­duce free per­sonal care will be put in place by Fe­bru­ary 2019.

Jamie Kirk, of Dundee United Com­mu­nity Trust, said: “The mem­ory box is al­ready a ma­jor talk­ing point in our Foot­ball Mem­o­ries group and is of in­ter­est to all fans. I am look­ing for­ward to see­ing the sug­ges­tions that come for­ward.”

Monthly Foot­ball Mem­o­ries events take place at both Tan­nadice and Dens foot­ball sta­di­ums, as well as at the St Ai­dan’s Cen­tre in Broughty Ferry.

Ge­orge Laid­law, Foot­ball Mem­o­ries team vol­un­teer, said: “We in­vite fans to make their sug­ges­tions for in­clu­sion via so­cial me­dia and email to michael. malone@dun­dee­u­nit­edct.co.uk.

“Suf­fice to add, we would also be ex­tremely de­lighted to re­ceive any dona­tions of mem­o­ra­bilia for use within our groups.”

Box­ing clever: Foot­ball Mem­o­ries Scot­land project train­ing co-or­di­na­tor Michael White, Amanda Kopel, Foot­ball Mem­o­ries Scot­land project di­rec­tor Richard McBrearty and for­mer player Gor­don Wallace at Tan­nadice.

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