When Jim Dolan, a lifelong Manchester City fan, received a knock on the door on Thursday, he never could have imagined what was waiting for him outside.
Wearing his new 2023/24 kit which had only arrived that morning, City surprised Jim and his family by bringing the real Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup trophies to his home.
Six weeks ago, Jim suffered a stroke which saw him miss the FA Cup and Champions League finals, passing his tickets to his son for both. Thankfully, Jim is now making a full recovery, but City’s community arm was keen to make sure he got to see the trophies he couldn’t see during the Blues’ lifting last month.
If Jim couldn’t come to the final to see the trophies, the club would bring the trophies to him.
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“I’ve been a season ticket holder since I was 14, I bought my first ticket in 1974,” Jim told the Manchester Evening News. “I got a job when I was 13, lied about my age to get a part-time job, got a pound a week which was enough to save for a season ticket in the old Maine Road.
“During the last game of the season I felt unwell. I tested positive for Covid but I actually had a stroke. Just a few days later I went to opticians and they sent me to hospital. My life just changed.
“I didn’t go to the FA Cup final and only saw the last five minutes on TV. I was so sick. I was pretty bad before the Champions League final but watched on TV. It’s been six weeks, I’m from the other side, slowly recovering This is something very special.
“The Champions League trophy is in my kitchen, that won’t happen again! I think the FA Cup itself is more visually appealing, but it also has the history. My first FA Cup final as a fan was in 1981 when we were beaten by Tottenham Hotspur.” To see it in real life in your own home is special.
“The club as a whole being given the time to do little things like this for fans, it’s special. There are a lot of opponents for different reasons, but this is priceless. What’s happening in the background, the people in the community, it’s all priceless.”
Before Jim was surprised, City and the Trophies visited a care home in South Manchester to surprise 102-year-old City fan Geoffrey Rothband. These community visits are part of a wider global tour of the three trophies, with City taking them around the world on a month-long tour, starting with the first team’s pre-season tour of Japan and South Korea later this month .
Geoffrey’s son Nigel Rothband said on Twitter: “Thank you Man City for making an old man very happy. It was fantastic to take all three trophies to Dad’s care home for his 103rd birthday next month. It allowed four generations of City fans to celebrate together.”
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