City striker a big hit on visit to hospice garden
Former City striker Tony Cottee returned to Leicester yesterday to visit hospice patients and admire a new garden.
The retired footballer, who is now a commentator with Sky Sports, toured the Loros Garden of Light and Reflection, which opened in May, and other parts of the hospice in Groby Road, Leicester.
Tony met four of the patients, as well as staff, volunteers and their families.
He said: "I'm thrilled to have been invited to see the magnificent work the hospice does.
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"If I can make a difference to help patients and families at such a difficult time then I feel privileged to do so."
As well as enjoying a cup of tea with volunteers, he posed for photographs and signed autographs for children of the staff and patients.
Tony, who played for Leicester City from 1997 to 2000 and was capped for England seven times, visited the hospice as a guest of Barrow-upon-Soar company Brett Landscaping, which donated paving stones for the garden.
Diane Morris, fund-raising manager for Loros, said: "Everyone at Loros was very excited that Tony Cottee was visiting and he was wonderful with the patients and had lots of banter about his footballing career.
"We're always proud to show the excellent services we provide and to have a celebrity visit Loros certainly provides a boost to patients, families and staff."
The Garden of Light and Reflection was created for The Royal Horticultural Society's Hampton Court Palace Flower Show last year before being transferred to the hospice.
It was created to raise awareness of the work of the hospice, which supports about 2,500 patients and their families each year.
The garden won a silver medal at the flower show.
The whole project had a budget of £85,000 but with builders and companies giving time and materials for free, the eventual cost was about £55,000.
The garden features bright-coloured plants, scented flowers, edible fruits and a glass mosaic sculpture.
The relocation to Leicester was paid for by a donation from Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons.
For more information about Loros, visit: