John Stankevitch’s charity surprise

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Former Saints star, John Stankevitch, surprised people supported at a local older people’s care service yesterday, inviting them to an upcoming St Helens vs Widnes Vikings Legends charity match, which he is organising.

John, who played for both Saints and Widnes, made a surprise visit to Eccleston Court Care Home in St Helens, which supports older people with age related needs, including dementia. He spent time with staff and the people they support, and gave them a number of tickets to the big match, which will be held at the Select Security Stadium on October 16.

Eccleston Court is part of the national social care charity Community Integrated Care and is home to over 50 older people, including people living with dementia.

People supported at the home are huge Saints fans, and the home also features an incredible Saints themed area, which showcases the history of the club.

On his visit, John enjoyed touring this area and sharing rugby league memories with the people supported at Eccleston.

The Widnes vs St Helen’s Legends match has been organised by the Cathie Stankevitch Foundation, a charity that John set up in honour of his late mother who sadly passed away last year.

The fundraising event will see legends of both St Helens and Widnes line up on the pitch again, for another local derby. The game will star rugby legends such as Martin Gleeson, Lee Hanson and Paul Atcheson.

The event will also feature a host of fun activities – from children’s entertainment, youth and amateur matches, and an evening reception with entertainment.

Amanda Kelly, service manager of Eccleston Care Home, said: “The people we support were so thrilled to be visited by John Stankevitch, who personally delivered us with tickets to the Legends match.

“They are huge Saints fans - it will mean so much to them to see their favourite players from years gone by take to the pitch again. It’s going to be such a fun and exciting day out for us!”

John Stankevitch said: “I’m really pleased to be able to support Community Integrated Care, who provide fantastic care to older people with complex and challenging needs, and make a real difference to people’s lives.

“The Cathie Stankevitch Foundation is all about inclusion and community engagement, so I’m really pleased so many people from Community Integrated Care can attend the match, and be part of this special day.”

John went on: “I really enjoyed meeting the people supported at Eccleston Court and sharing our rugby league memories! They were really excited about coming to the match and I’m sure they will have a fantastic day.

“I was really impressed by the staff’s efforts in bringing their Saint’s passion to life, through an amazing Saints themed area with signed memorabilia and photographs.”