Lifelong Leicester City season ticket holder meets footballing hero Alan 'The Birch' Birchenall

Published on 10th January 2019

A terminally ill lifelong Leicester City season ticket holder was given the chance to meet one of his footballing heroes when Alan Birchenall visited him at LOROS.

Barry Lowe, 75, of Long Whatton, who is currently on the Hospice’s ward, said he was “humbled and privileged” to have met Foxes legend and LOROS Patron Birch, when he visited the Hospice at the end of last year.

Father-of-two Barry has been supported by LOROS after being diagnosed with bowel cancer around two years ago.

“I never expected to meet Birch while I was at the Hospice,” said Barry, who has been watching Leicester City play for 64 years.

“He was a character on the pitch and he was just as much of a character when I met him.

“Meeting him definitely put a smile on my face.”

Barry started watching the Foxes play as a young boy, with his brother and he has continued the tradition by taking his 42-year-old son along to the matches since he was eight.

“I can still name the team that Birch played in,” added Barry, who tested the football star’s knowledge during his visit.

“I always rated him very highly as a player, he was never scared to put in a tackle.”

Birch, who has been a Patron of LOROS for a decade this year, said that it was “brilliant” meeting Barry.

“Barry, or Baz, as I now know him, is a lovely bloke,” he said.

“The funny thing was, he was listing his favourite players and as it got nearer to the end, he still hadn’t said me, then he looked at me, smiled and said, no you are one of my favourites too.

“It’s always a pleasure to come to LOROS but when I meet characters like him, it makes the work I do for the Hospice all worthwhile.

“I know he said that it was a privilege to have met me but I’d like to reverse that and say it was a privilege to have met him.

“He really is a terrific bloke.”

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