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Leyton Orient Mitzvah Day

Leyton Orient players Myles Judd, Freddy Moncur and Jamie Sendles-White were greeted with a warm welcome from residents of Jewish Care’s Vi and John Rubens house in Ilford

    Monty Ward with Orient players
    Monty Ward with Orient players

    Jewish Care residents and lifelong Leyton Orient football fans met members of the squad as part of Mitzvah Day.

    Leyton Orient players Myles Judd, Freddy Moncur and Jamie Sendles-White were greeted with a warm welcome from residents of Jewish Care’s Vi and John Rubens house in Ilford.

    Orient fan 97-year-old Harry Buitekant talked to the players about his fond memories of attending games from the age of six. He said: “My proudest moments were standing outside the grounds after we had won to see the players and congratulate them. I remember when we were playing in the 1st division.”

    Monty Ward, 95, was delighted to be able to chat to the players about his memories of Orient, the team that he and all his friends supported.

    Former boxer Harold Crown told the players about his own sporting achievements showing them how he “packed a punch” and sharing stories of big name sports stars he had met.

    Midfielder, Mr Moncur, 21, said: “I am really happy to be here again. It was good to see familiar faces and chat to both the residents I met on my last visit and some new people too. Lots of smiley faces which has been good to see.”

    His team mates Mr Judd and Mr Sendles-White agreed: “It’s nice to come somewhere different and be able to put smiles on people’s faces.”

    Howard Gould, Orient’s community liaison manager, began organising the annual visits following a conversation with Neil Taylor, a Leyton Orient fan and director of Jewish Care.

    Mr Gould said visiting Vi and John Rubens as part of its Mitzvah Day celebrations “is always a pleasure. We always meet passionate lifelong fans who talk about their favourite players who none of us have ever heard of because they are often going back 70 or 80 years. We always leave feeling inspired and leave with a smile.

    “We look forward to coming back again soon.”

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