Lifelong Morecambe FC fan gets special visit from team on his 90th birthday

An avid Shrimps fan was given the surprise of his life when the team coach turned up on his doorstep so players and staff could wish him a happy 90th birthday!

Monday, 7th December 2020, 3:56 pm
Updated Monday, 7th December 2020, 4:00 pm
Cliff Crabtree celebrated his 90th birthday with a visit from the Morecambe FC team, who presented him with a signed card, scarf and mug.

Cliff Crabtree turned 90 on Friday, and as part of his celebrations the Morecambe FC squad stopped off at his home in Heysham on their way to their weekend League Two match in Newport to wish him a happy birthday.

Manager Derek Adams and player Aaron Wildig also presented him with a card signed by the whole team, along with a Morecambe FC centenary scarf and mug.

The team coach took the detour after the club was contacted by a family friend who asked if the players could sign a card for Cliff - and they decided to go one better.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Morecambe manager Derek Adams and player Aaron Wildig give Cliff Crabtree his gifts.

Cliff's son Martin said: "It all started when a friend asked for them to sign a card for him; contact was made and they said the team coach was leaving for Newport [on Friday afternoon] and they would call in on their way.

"It was a complete surprise for him. About 20 friends and family also stood outside his house, and the coach pulled up, and the manager and club captain presented him with a card and mug and scarf."

Cliff has been a season ticket holder at Morecambe for more than 50 years, and never misses a game.

"He saw his first game in 1940," Martin said. "He doesn't go to away games any more but he still goes to all the home games.

The Morecambe FC coach outside Cliff's home.

"He goes with his best friend, they have a pint and then go to the game.

"He lives and breathes the club."

Cliff has been missing seeing the Shrimps in action while the games have been behind closed doors, but their kind gesture on Friday gave him a big boost.

"It was absolutely superb," Martin said. "He was really made up, he wanted to get on the bus to wish them all good luck for their game.

Cliff celebrated his 90th birthday with a special Morecambe FC cake.

"He didn't know what to do, he was so shocked. Afterwards, he had to go inside and have a sit down. I think it made his year!

"The club really went above and beyond, they did him proud."