Former Manchester City star signs for hospice

Former Manchester City favourite Andy Hinchcliffe has become the latest signing for St Ann’s Hospice after joining its ranks of volunteers.

Nicky Dutson and Andy Hinchcliffe Nicky Dutson and Andy Hinchcliffe

His first link with the charity came 27 years ago when his late mother Pat was a patient there during the early days of his football career.

Now he has made a poignant return, helping out on the wards at the hospice in Heald Green with wife Nicky Dutson, a volunteer for the charity for five years.

Andy, who works as a summariser on Sky Sports, is enjoying giving something back to the hospice which cared for Pat before she died of bowel cancer aged just 52.

“In some ways it’s quite strange going back, but it also seemed the natural thing to do,” said 46-year-old Andy, who hails from Brooklands, Sale.

“My career at City was just getting going in 1988 when my mum had a really difficult time with her illness. We were very close and it was devastating to lose her. She was such a lovely lady, very active and full of life.”

Andy and Nicky got married last month (June) and asked guests to make a donation to the hospice instead of buying wedding presents.Nicky Dutson and Andy Hinchcliffe Pic 2 (2)

“It was such a long time ago that I first visited St Ann’s and as you can imagine it was a blur because of my mum’s horrible disease.

“Nicky asked me if I wanted to get involved. I serve drinks, tidy up and generally help out. The hospice is such an inspiring place and touches families with the wonderful care it provides.”

Andy won seven England caps during a career which included spells at City, Sheffield Wednesday and Everton with whom he won the FA Cup in 1995.

The cultured left back began his broadcasting career at Key 103 and BBC Radio Manchester before joining Sky.

“I was lucky that football came naturally to me but in some ways it was a job and I wasn’t really in love with the game like I am now. The game’s changed a lot since I played and I enjoy seeing old friends and keeping that connection.”

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