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Man takes grandad battling dementia to a Manchester City game and spends an unforgettable day

'When it came to Manchester City I don't know what was pumping through him but we pulled up in that car parking space and it was almost like he was 10 years younger.'

Man takes grandad battling dementia to a Manchester City game and spends an unforgettable day
Cover Image Source: TikTok/charliemoose_

An 84-year-old British grandfather with dementia and his grandson are tugging at the heartstrings of internet users this week after a video of them making memories at a Manchester City football game went viral. Featuring Charlie Gibson and his Manchester City superfan grandad, Barry Carr, the three-minute video has been viewed more than 5.4 million times in just two days. "My 84-year-old grandad has dementia. He has been a Manchester City fan since he was six. Despite his condition having got a lot worse recently, I wanted to bring him to such a big game," Gibson explains at the beginning of the montage.


According to Manchester Evening News, Carr—who grew up in Manchester and supported City ever since he was a little boy—is such a huge fan of the team that he even rejected trials at Manchester United. Over the years, Carr instilled this love in his grandson and the pair used to watch games together regularly until 2014, when the doting grandad's health deteriorated. The following year, he was diagnosed with dementia and although he has had the constant support of his wife of 60 years, Sherry, by his side and the love of three children and seven grandchildren, the added isolation over the past two years of the pandemic made his illness worse.

However, when the club heard Carr's story and sent them tickets to watch City play Aston Villa, Gibson wanted to share one more Manchester City match with his grandad. Although he had his concerns—and things took a turn for the worse in between, so much so that they nearly didn't make it to the game—it all worked out in the end and Carr ended up on the pitch at the final whistle deliriously celebrating with thousands of other Blues. "Because I had that relationship with him, I like to push through and the whole point of this is I want dementia to be a positive thing and we have those memories," Gibson explained. "There is a stigma where because you have it things aren't possible. I'm never going to put him out of his comfort zone but I thought he'd be fine."


"When we had breakfast and he started to wobble a bit by not being responsive, I realized I'd never really had this with him. When we got to the car and he forgot my name, that really set me off. I was crying my eyes out. He's never not said my name before," he shared. "We were in Hale and I thought 'do I turn the car back round' but I thought let's push through because he'd had his medication and he started to come round. Even driving up to the stadium, he still didn't really know what was going on but as soon as he got to the stadium that was it."


"Obviously I was reminding him of what was going on but he was fixated on the game. Whatever happened at least he got to do it and enjoy it. Then he got to see his son, and even he sees him every week and said it was like he was 10 years younger. I was exhausted driving him back and he was singing to Frank Sinatra and listening to 5 Live so it was like the old days," Gibson, who moved back up to Manchester to be nearer to his grandad, revealed. "I came back here and he's become my father figure. He got me into football, we always went to City games and then I came back to Manchester just to be with him and spend some time with him and I wanted to give back to him."


"We've always had a really special relationship, so much so that when I came back everyone would say he always had more energy with me. As life progresses and business got busier, I've not seen him as much as I'd have liked to in the last few months. Over Christmas, he got a lot worse and became unresponsive and his Alzheimers started to kick in," he shared. "They thought it would be too much for him because he's always falling asleep, and he has had his wobbly moments. I've never had that experience with him because he's always been lucid. Then, when it came to City I don't know what was pumping through him but we pulled up in that car parking space and it was almost like he was 10 years younger."

"Having him there really encompasses our relationship with City. We had the [Sergio] Aguero moment when he was at his best, but to have that again and even just to speak to him on Monday and he was saying of course he remembers and had just about recovered. He's turned into such a sweet old man. He was always quite hard and stern but now he is a soft oldie so he's awesome. As long as it raises awareness and people can enjoy it, that's all that matters," Gibson concluded.

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