War veteran overjoyed as Wrexham AFC captain hands over Poppy shirt in surprise home visit


Rory Sheehan

AN ACT of true generosity from a Reds star has left a war veteran overwhelmed with joy.

When Wrexham AFC auctioned their one-off Remembrance Day shirts, the family of Falklands veteran and Reds fan Alan Loose did their best to get him one.

The white shirts, embroidered with the poppy, were worn during the home game against Braintree Town in November and auctioned off to raise money for the Poppy Appeal before Christmas.

Generous: Wrexham skipper Rob Evans, left, and war veteran Alan Loose with his Poppy shirt

Unfortunately Mr Loose’s family were unsuccessful in the bidding but his granddaughter was determined he would not be disappointed.

After a chat with Mr Loose’s granddaughter Gabrielle Davies, Reds captain Rob Evans turned up at her house with one of the limited edition shirts – and autographed it.

She then presented her grandad with the midfielder’s shirt.

Dedicated Mr Loose, 67, of Kingsley Circle, Caia Park, spent every day selling poppies on behalf of the Royal British Legion in the lead up to Remembrance Sunday.

More than 30 years ago he escaped death when the troop ship he was on just off the Falklands Island was bombed.

He was on board the RFA Sir Galahad in Bluff Cove, just off the Falkland Islands when it was hit by an Argentine bomb on June 8, 1982, an explosion that killed 48 men and injured 97 others.

Ms Davies said midfielder Evans went the extra mile to help her surprise her derserving grandad.

“Back in November he was selling poppies every day and we thought it would be a lovely idea to get him one of the shirts”, she said.

“It was my auntie who tried to get one during the auction but I think she just missed out.

“I know Rob and spoke to him on Saturday night after the game (against Chester) and he said he would speak to someone, but wasn’t sure if he would be able to get one.

“Then he turned up at the house with one – it was a total surprise.”

Mr Loose said he was shocked and delighted to receive the shirt.

He said: “I know the family tried to get one for me before Christmas, but I didn’t expect this.

“I’m a big Wrexham fan and like Rob as a player.

“I thought Gabby was coming to use the car when she came round but she said “I’ve got a present for you”.

”It was a lovely surprise.

”I want to thank him (Rob) through the Leader.

”I’d love to meet him in person to thank him if it’s possible, and I want to thank Gabrielle for sorting it out.”

As for his plans for the shirt, Mr Loose said: “It’s got his signature on so I’m not going to wear it, I’m going to get it framed.”

See full story in the Leader

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