West Ham fan reunited with community

Alice at the Olympic Park with Any Old Irons group

Alice took part in Any Old Irons, part of our Football Friends programme, earlier this year. The programme brings individuals aged 65 or over together over a shared love of football. 

Growing up in the East End

“I was born in Poplar. During World War Two. In July 1941, our local air raid shelter took a direct hit. My mother and I were in the middle, but 13 members of our family were killed. I still carry in my handbag a list of all their names and their ages when they were killed – it is important to remember.

I have lived in East Ham for over 40 years now, and I have always been a West Ham fan. We used to go to the West Ham Club on a Friday night for bingo, and dancing on Saturday nights.

Losing touch with the community

My husband died in 2009, he had been blind for some time. I am now in a residential home; I’ve had a lot of falls and I use a wheelchair, so mobility is a problem for me.

When I first heard about Any Old Irons, through my local social services, I hadn’t been out for a year.

Meeting new friends

The first time I came to an Any Old Irons session I thought I was on holiday, because it’s so lovely! Everyone is so friendly and you are just accepted.

Some of my favourite Any Old Irons activities have been our visit to the Olympic Park and when we went on a boat trip down the River Lee.

Being part of Any Old Irons

If there is anything I can do to help Any Old Irons I would definitely do it. I love sewing tapestries, and I recently sewed one of the famous Pears Soap boy blowing bubbles advert – the music hall song “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” has long been the official West Ham United song. I’ve donated the tapestry to Any Old Irons and I felt like the Queen when everyone was taking my photo with it!

Being part of Any Old Irons has made me 100% happy.”

Upcoming dates

The next programme starts on 25 October. If you are interested and would like to find out more, please email hello@fote.org.uk or call us on 0330 332 1110.