Blues hero makes Hazel's day

TRUE blue Hazel Johnson had hoped to salute her FA Cup heroes at the 30th anniversary celebrations on Monday - but instead she will be recovering in hospital after suffering a stroke in Ipswich town centre.

TRUE blue Hazel Johnson had hoped to salute her FA Cup heroes at the 30th anniversary celebrations on Monday - but instead she will be recovering in hospital after suffering a stroke in Ipswich town centre.

So to make up for her missing out on the emotional Wembley reunion, '78 goal hero Roger Osborne paid the 63-year-old a visit to wish her a speedy recovery.

Today, husband David thanked the former Town midfielder, who presented Hazel with a signed Ipswich shirt, and also heaped praise on the market workers who rushed to his wife's aid after she collapsed on April 24.

He said: “Hazel's been a Town fan for nearly 50 years so for Roger to come and see her is brilliant.


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“We would have been on the Cornhill on Monday to see the players, but Hazel won't be able to now.

“We had just got back from holiday and she was doing a bit of shopping when it happened. As she was crossing the market she felt her leg was not quite right and she wanted to sit down.

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“She collapsed, hit the deck and must have hit her head.

“When she came to, all the market traders had set her down, covered her up and called the ambulance.

“They responded very quickly and it could have been a lifesaver.

“I just want to say thank you for everything they did.”

Mr Johnson, who was at Farlingaye High School with Osborne, said once Hazel had recovered, they were planning to visit the market traders who helped, to personally thank them.

Mrs Johnson, of Grundisburgh Road, Woodbridge, is likely to be in hospital for at least a week, meaning she will be unable to watch Town's crunch finale to the season against Hull on Sunday.

But it was missing out on the anniversary party - Thirty Years of Honour - which hurt the most.

She was at Wembley three decades ago as the Blues beat Arsenal 1-0 and wanted to be a part of Monday's historic reunion, likely to be the last time the players are together.

However, Mrs Johnson, who sits in the Greene King stand, said the personal visit from Osborne had more than made up for her disappointment.

Her niece, Beverley Atay, echoed the thanks given to those who helped her aunt.

She said: “It is reassuring to know that there is a caring community in Ipswich.

“Hazel is a person in a million - kind hearted and always thinking of others before herself.”

Would you like to wish Hazel a speedy recovery? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

ON Bank Holiday Monday, Ipswich will remember one of its most glorious sporting moments.

At a sun-soaked Wembley on May 6, 1978, Ipswich Town won the world's most famous football competition, claiming the FA Cup courtesy of a 1-0 win over Arsenal.

Three decades on, The Evening Star, Ipswich Borough Council and BBC Radio Suffolk have teamed up to stage a reunion, marking the Blues' wonderful achievement.

The entire squad - including legendary boss Sir Bobby Robson - will enjoy an open-top bus ride through Ipswich, before a gala dinner at the Town Hall in honour of their Wembley triumph.

Thousands of fans are expected to converge on the Cornhill to watch highlights from the game on a giant screen.

Supporters can buy tickets to the after dinner celebrations, priced at £40, by calling the Corn Exchange box office on 01473 433100.

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