Close-knit footballing visitors

November 24, 2011

Mitzvah Day activities kicked off early at Jewish Care's Vi and John Rubens House in Ilford as Leyton Orient footballers Ben Chorley, Terrell Forbes and Moses Odubajo visited residents.

As well as socialising and joining in with singing, the players bought knitted scarves from 95-year-old Hetty Tauber.

Chorley, who previously visited the home last year, said he was moved by talking to residents such as 105-year-old Millie Gee.

"It makes you feel quite humble when you do this sort of thing," he reflected. "Millie remembered me and told me off for not making sure she had received photos from last year. She's so sharp and is a real inspiration to everybody."

For the centenarian, the return visit was "a lovely surprise. I didn't know they were coming and they were all so lovely and charming."

Forbes was close to tears as 93-year-old Minnie Conway treated him to a rendition of My Yiddishe Mama.

"The lady who sang to me was like Frank Sinatra," he said. "It was unbelievable. It was touching and I nearly cried. My eyes were filling up." The players have promised to donate match tickets to Vi and John Rubens staff.

A Jewish Care spokesperson expressed gratitude "to Howard Gould and everyone at Leyton Orient for making this possible. It means so much to the residents and makes a huge difference to their lives.

"We're really happy that Ben, Terrell and Moses enjoyed their stay with us and we look forward to welcoming them back in the near future."

Last updated: 2:56pm, November 24 2011