Charity to capture memories of York City and snooker champs to help tackle loneliness and depression

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A charity which uses the power of sporting memories as a tool to help tackle loneliness, depression and dementia has teamed up with York City to work with fans at their final game of the season next weekend.

Sporting Memories, which was co-founded by former North Yorkshire psychiatric nurse Tony Jameson-Allen, will also be in Sheffield next month on the final day of the World Snooker Championships.

The charity uses traditional ideas of reminiscence activities to bring together like minded people to discuss their love of sport.

It has teamed up with York City’s Football Club Foundation and York Council’s Sport and Active Leisure Team to celebrate the history and the heritage of the Minster Men, building on a pilot project in the city last year which used reminiscence workshops as an introduction to physical activity.

Young people will be interviewing football fans and collecting their memories of the club from 1.30pm in the family room, prior to kick off against Newport County on Saturday April 25. Fans are encouraged to bring along any shirts, scarves or memorabilia to start the conversations.

To launch the Memories Game project, lifelong York City supporter and Match of the Day commentator, Guy Mowbray has recorded some of his own favourite memories of watching his side play Arsenal as a child.

Mr Jameson-Allen said: “Memories of sport are used in fun social activities that use the passion and power of being a football or sports fan to trigger discussion, conversation and the inevitable debates on great victories - and defeats - over the years.

“Lonely older men can be hard to reach - sport has a magical way of connecting people through shared experience.”

Sporting Memories will also be in the Peace Gardens in Sheffield on finals day of the World Snooker Championships on Monday May 4.

Mr Jameson-Allen said: “It is 30 years since Dennis Taylor beat Steve Davis on the final black ball, of the final frame of the World Snooker Championship at The Crucible.

“We’ll be interviewing both Dennis and Steve for their memories, but want to speak to snooker fans as well about their memories of snooker.

“Talking about our memories of sport can reignite the passion we have for it.”

For more information on both events visit www.sportingmemoriesnetwork.com