Joan Fitzsimmons and her husband Joe will be very well known to anyone associated with Wigan St Judes ARLFC. Their lifelong dedication to each other could only be matched by the time and hard work they’ve given to the Worsley Mesnes based rugby club. From the very beginning in 1981 they were they helping to form this community. For twenty years Joan acted as the club treasurer while Joe took the role of Secretary a role which he still holds today. As the club grew, we have all seen the difference they’ve made to people’s lives and the international rugby starts they’ve proudly nurtured.
Earlier this year, even though Joan hadn’t been feeling at her best, they were planning to celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary with friend and family. But after Joan began to struggle with weight loss and pain she made an appointment to see her GP. Shortly after they received the devastating news that Joan had lung cancer. It was at a stage where little could be done other than to make her as comfortable as possible. It’s been the darkest of times coming to terms with everything that’s happened but Joe, supported by good friend Mick O’Brien, decided that they couldn’t let their Golden Wedding Anniversary pass by without marking the occasion.
Joe took the decision to use the date and room they’d booked for their anniversary and use it for a party and fundraiser in Joan’s memory. He wanted to ensure that others going through a cancer diagnosis no matter how early or late on had somewhere to turn to for help and guidance. On the night John Martin the former Riverside Compare provided the entertainment and the room was filled with laughter and kindness while raising £1650 for Macmillan Cancer Support. Joe wants everyone to know how grateful he is.