Flower power raises £2,300 for charity after Dick Advocaat’s Sunderland U-turn

Grace Hospice's Karen Maclennan receives a cheque from Sunderland Football club fan Tom Sproates
Grace Hospice's Karen Maclennan receives a cheque from Sunderland Football club fan Tom Sproates

Happy charities are enjoying the benefits of flower power thanks to a Sunderland football fan.

When Tom Sproates came up with the idea of raising money for a bouquet to thank Dick Advocaat’s wife for letting him stay at the club, he had no idea it would result in more than £2,300 for charity.

Dick Advocaat

Dick Advocaat

The 23-year-old, like thousands of other Sunderland fans, was delighted when Advocaat did a U-turn saying he would stay with the club, after previously stating his intention to retire after his wife expressed reservations about him staying.

Tom, a finance officer from Washington, said: “I was at work and came up with the idea of setting up the page for the flowers. It was just a bit of fun.

“I never imagined it would be of such interest. I couldn’t believe it when I went to bed that night and it was at £400, but I thought that would be it, but it just kept going.”

Tom, a Black Cats’ season ticket holder, said the initial target was for £150, and anything after that would be split between the SAFC Foundation of Light and the rest to a charity of Mrs Advocaat’s choice, and she picked Grace House Hospice.

He said: “I think a lot of people were happy to donate because they knew the money would be going to charity.”

Both charities have been presented with £1,179.80 each.

Karen Mclennan, a senior fundraiser for Grace House, said Mrs Advocaat chose Grace House after hearing how much the club has supported it in the past.

She said: “We are absolutely delighted.”