How a Football Memories project at Clyde can help dementia sufferers

Clyde legend Dick Staite with Clyde FC Community Foundation community development manager Tom Elliott
Clyde legend Dick Staite with Clyde FC Community Foundation community development manager Tom Elliott

Clyde are launching a new initiative to use recollections of football experiences as a way of helping people suffering from dementia.

The club and the Clyde FC Community Foundation are joining forces to deliver Football Memories, a programme for local elderly people, Clyde FC supporters and people with dementia.

An open day to kick off the programme will be held in the Arria Lounge at Broadwood next Wednesday, June 20. The programme will then meet on a monthly basis.

The Football Memories Project is a partnership between Alzheimer Scotland and the Scottish Football Museum, delivered around the country for people with dementia who have an interest in football.

The hope is that talking about teams and matches from the past and working with images and tangible memorabilia can help stimulate memories.

Michael White from Alzheimer Scotland visited the club recently to train a few of the volunteers, including Clyde club historian Gordon Sidney.

Gordon said: “Our football club has a rich history of 140 years and I’m looking forward to seeing some of our older supporters coming along and hearing some of their great stories from the past.”

From July, monthly sessions will be delivered, again at Broadwood and will last around 90 minutes with tea/coffee, pies and Bovril being made available at half-time.

The monthly sessions will include old pictures and memorabilia to help recall the players, images, goals and incidents from the past.

Community development manager Tom Elliott said: “We are reaching out to all areas and ages of the community, and I’m really looking forward to hearing some fascinating stories and of course with all football there will be great debates, banter and good humour.”

Clyde legend Dick Staite visited Broadwood recently to hear more about the launch and was happy help promote the event.

He said: “I’m pleased to support this worthy programme and encourage the community to come along to the launch at Broadwood. The Harry Beaton memory box that’s been put together is wonderful, not only for the Clyde FC fan but for any football fan.”

Another supporter is former Clyde and Scotland boss Craig Brown, Football Memories project ambassador, who said: “I’m delighted to lend my support to the excellent work being carried across Scotland by the Football Memories Project.

“Dementia effects many people across all of society which is reflected in football including many dear friends, team-mates and greatly respected opponents.”

Anyone wishing to go along next Wednesday can register a place by contacting Tom Elliott on 01236 263309 or emailing him at tom.elliott@clydefc.co.uk