Since losing their two week old daughter in May due to a heart defect. the couple from Catshill, near Bromsgrove, have set up the Libby Mae’s Little Angels charity in her memory which has so far raised around £35,000 to help provide neo natal care equipment at hospitals throughout the Midlands.
And in recognition of the way Richard and Charlotte have set about helping others in the face of their own personal tragedy, the couple received a very special EZE Wish in the form of a surprise Christmas hamper delivery to their home from Blues players Chris Burke and Callum Reilly.
EZE Wishes is an initiative from Birmingham City’s diamond partners EZE Group which is designed to recognise and reward those Blues fans who have overcome adversity or shown tremendous community spirit.
Richard, a Blues season ticket holder for nearly 20 years, was nominated by his friend Martin Roche who said: “After suffering the worst sort of year that none of us would ever want to experience in our lifetime, Richard has thrown himself into helping others so his daughter’s short life wasn’t for nothing. He thoroughly deserves a little treat to show him that people care about him and are so proud of what he’s doing – Richard has become an inspiration to all his friends.”
As well as delivering the Christmas hamper provided by EZE Group partner Simply First Wines, Chris Burke and Callum Reilly spent around half an hour chatting to the couple about their charity work and even bought a Libby Mae Christmas bauble to add to the fundraising coffers.
“It was a complete shock to open the door and be greeted by two of the Blues players who I cheer on from my seat in the Tilton Road,” said Richard, who works as a team leader at Legal & General in Birmingham.
“I was genuinely overcome with emotion as it was such a wonderful gesture from my friend and of course EZE Group and the club who made it all happen. “We’ve obviously had a very traumatic year but we wanted to give something back because without the care Libby received from Birmingham Women’s Hospital and Birmingham Children’s Hospital we wouldn’t have had one day with her let alone two weeks.”
Dominic O’Reilly, chief executive of EZE Group, said: “When we heard about Libby Mae through the EZE Wish nomination we had no hesitation in arranging with the club for the players to make the surprise Christmas delivery. Nothing can compensate for the death of a daughter, but Richard and Charlotte have shown tremendous courage and couldn’t be more deserving.”