Swindon Town legends turn back the clock for residents living with dementia

The glory years of Swindon Town were brought to life for a group of residents living with dementia as they met football heroes from the football club’s past.

Published: Thursday, 19th September 2019

Town legends Don Rogers and John Trollope met 50 people and their carers at the County Ground yesterday (18 Sep) as part of the latest Sporting Memories event.

In its second year, Sporting Memories is organised by Swindon Borough Council and Swindon Town Football in the Community Trust and uses the rich history and heritage of sport to engage people with dementia and get them to talk about their experiences of watching it or playing it.

The sessions use a range of reminiscence resources to specifically prompt conversation and discussion.

Yesterday, those attending were treated to a tour of the County Ground stadium and pitch, took part in a quiz on the club’s history and enjoyed a question and answer session with League Cup winners and Town stalwarts Don and John.

The day was hosted by another popular former Town player in Phil King.

Speaking at the event, Don, who made more than 400 appearances and scored 149 goals for Town, said: “Days like today are really important, a lot of the people here have remembered being fans of Swindon Town.

“They’ve been on a tour of the ground which they have really enjoyed and everyone is having a good laugh which is a good thing from my point of view.”

John, who made a record 770 appearances for Town, added: “The club does some very good things within the community to bring people together. Holding days like this helps bring memories back to people and put a smile back on their face.

“If we can help out by just coming along and answering a few questions then that’s a really good thing.”

Councillor Brian Ford, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “Sport is a great way to bring people together and spark memories.

“Following the success of last autumn's event, we have been working with the foundation and those living with and caring for people with dementia to further develop our programme of activities.

“The Sporting Memories event is a positive step towards tackling dementia and is a great way of helping people to reminisce years gone by and improve their overall wellbeing.”

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