A RUGBY fan and hospice patient from Bromsgrove who was having difficulty attending matches was given the VIP treatment thanks to Primrose and Worcester Warriors.

Neil Leddington has been a Warriors fan and season ticket holder for more than a decade.

He and wife Val were even married at the Warriors' Sixways stadium in 2012 and had former Worcester lock Craig Gillies attend as a special guest.

However, during a recent clinical appointment at Primrose Hospice, Neil explained he was unable to attend matches because of the cold weather.

Knowing how important these matches are to Neil, Primrose's chief operating officer Angelique Dalton managed to organise a box at the stadium for Neil and his friends and family.

Neil said: "It was absolutely brilliant. After talking to [clinical lead] Dr Douglas about it, within ten days it was all organised. We had a fantastic time."

Neil, his wife Val and family and friends watched on as Warriors were beaten by Northampton Saints 16-10 on Friday, March 6 in what would be Worcester's final Premiership game before the nation's sporting programme was put on hold by the coronavirus outbreak.

Despite the result, Val said the couple enjoyed the evening and thanked both Primrose and Worcester Warriors.

"We had a tremendous time. It was brilliant to be able to watch a game in the warmth," she said.

Angelique Dalton, COO at Primrose, added: "As soon as we learned that rugby was a big part of Neil and Val's lives but sadly he had been missing matches we knew we had to act.

"At Primrose, we not only take care of our patients' medical needs but also offer services which can take care of their emotional and practical needs.

"We will always try our best to help those people who use our hospice to continue to do the things they love with the people they love."

Warriors managing director Peter Kelly said: “As a season ticket holder Neil is a valued supporter and we were saddened to learn that he struggles to attend matches in cold weather because of his condition.

“When we were approached about the possibility of hosting Neil we were only too happy to be able to help him and Primrose Hospice."

Last year, Primrose Hospice cared for over 1,000 people living in north east Worcestershire including people with life-limiting conditions and their families. To support the hospice, visit primrosehospice.org.

All services are free of charge, however, it costs £1.75million annually to keep the hospice running with £1.5 million of this total having to be raised by Primrose.