Heart-warming moment Sheffield couple reunited in same room for first time in a year for diamond wedding anniversary

A Sheffield couple parted for the first time in more than 60 years by Covid-19 were able to be in the same room for the first time in a year to celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 12:30 pm

Roy Ironside was the first visitor allowed through the doors at Henleigh Hall residential home in Beauchief, where his wife Mo lives, when Covid restrictions on visitors were eased.

Mo has been cared for at the home for four years following a serious stroke. Roy was finally allowed in to see her just days after their 60th wedding anniversary, said son Ian.

He said it was an especially emotional reunion because staff clapped as Roy walked along the corridor – normally he’d visit Mo every day, so he’s a popular figure with staff, said Ian. During the first lockdown he was able to see Mo from behind a glass screen in the home’s garden but this time the couple were at last able to hold hands, with Roy dressed in full PPE.

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Roy and Mo Ironside, reunited to celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary

Roy took Mo their congratulatory card from the Queen.

An overjoyed Mo said: “I miss him so much, he is the love of my life, it was lovely to see him.”

Roy and his family have been keeping in touch with her via phone and Skype calls. Ian said he hasn’t been able to see his mum since Mother’s Day last year.

When they met up, Mo was teasing Roy because he couldn’t remember their wedding reception! She reminded him that it was at the Brincliffe Oaks and the entire Rotherham United team arrived by bus.

Goalkeeper Roy Ironside when he played for Barnsley FC

Roy was the club goalkeeper at the time and is the first of three generations of professional footballers. He played for them in the historic first League Cup final in 1961 against Aston Villa and also played for Barnsley FC.

Ian was also a goalkeeper and played for several clubs, including three stints at Scarborough. His son Joe is a centre forward, formerly at Sheffield United and currently playing for Cambridge United.

Ian is one of four brothers - Steve lives in Australia and Neil and Jamie both live in Sheffield. The couple have five grandchildren in total.

Roy's grandson Joe Ironside, left, in action against Scunthorpe United's Harrison McGahey earlier this month

Mo was a well-known character on the Manor, where she comes from. She got the nickname Fishcake Mo for her deftness with Sheffield fishcakes at her parents’ fish and chip shop, Hague’s, on Wulfric Road.

Roy, who came from Heeley Green, worked in the wet fish side of the business after he left football, then worked as a shopfitter.

He still lives in the family home in Norton Lees.

Also reunited were resident Jean Bown and her daughter Nicki. Jean said: “It felt like it was a very long time coming but it was absolutely wonderful to see her face to face and hold hands.”

Henleigh Hall staff give a warm welcome back to visitors

Manager Lindsey Deignan said: “It has been a fabulous, joyous few days with lots of happy tears from residents, their families and the whole team here.

"We have had a steady, planned and assessed stream of visitors and you can just see how happy this has made everyone. The team have worked so hard for this and the excitement from the residents and carers was palpable.”

Henleigh Hall Care Home in Abbey Lane Dell provides residential, nursing, palliative and respite care.

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Jean Bown and her daughter Nicki were able to be in the same room together again at last