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Rachael Heyhoe Flint honoured at Wolves

By Tim Spiers | Wolverhampton | Wolves | Published:

The great Baroness Rachael Heyhoe Flint has been honoured at Wolves after a disabled facility she regularly visited was named after her.

From left; Jeff Shi, Kevin Rogers from Paycare, Laurie Dalrymple, Rachael's stepdaughter Rowan, Ron Flowers, Robert Plant and Steve Bull (© AMA / Sam Bagnall)

A host of dignitaries, friends and family attended a ceremony before Saturday's game against Millwall to see the room renamed the The Baroness Rachael Heyhoe Flint Accessible Lounge.

Housed in the Stan Cullis stand, the lounge has been a fixture at Molineux for more than 20 years and is a relaxing place for disabled supporters to spend time ahead of matches.

Wolves chairman Jeff Shi as well as rock royalty Robert Plant, record goalscorer Steve Bull and England World Cup winner Ron Flowers – who are all Wolves vice presidents – were at the ceremony,

Stepdaughter Rowan also attended and said: "It's a very suitable honour for her – she loved it here.

"They loved her visits and seeing all the photographs here, it's really lovely."

And of the many tributes paid to Rachael in the past few months Rowan added: "It's been wonderful. I hadn't realised the depth and breadth of it – because she was just Rachael at home – how far and how much she was respected and held in such great esteem."

Beloved former England cricket captain Baroness Heyhoe Flint, who died in January aged 77, would often visit the lounge before a match with a player, with the facility having been introduced by her great friend Sir Jack Hayward in the 1990s.

Steve Bull said of the tribute: "It's ideal because she loved helping needy and disadvantage people.

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"She was here all the time, she used to bring me over here and she was so passionate about it.

"I knew Rachael for a long time and she helped me so much and this is one of the first places she brought me.

"She took her vice president role very seriously but she could take her coat off and have a laugh and joke with everyone too. She had the gift of the gab."

Speeches were made during Saturday's ceremony including from Wolves managing director Laurie Dalrymple, who said: "Her passing in January left a gap that I don't think will ever be filled.

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"The multitude of tributes that continue to be paid to her legacy will probably never do her full justice. But it remains so important that her legacy lives on.

"Rachael spent so many happy times here engaging with supporters; chatting, smiling, laughing.

"She had a passion for helping and empowering disabled people."

Wolverhampton-based not-for-profit health cover provider Paycare have sponsored the lounge for more than 20 years.

Baroness Heyhoe Flint was their president, with that honour now bestowed on former Wolves goalkeeper Matt Murray.

Paycare chief executive Kevin Rogers said: "The accessible lounge is a truly wonderful facility which continues to benefit fans, their families and their friends each and every season.

"I had the wonderful privilege of getting to know Rachael personally. My abiding memory of her is the genuine interest she had in people and a desire to do everything in her power to help and support those around her.

"I've never come across anyone who had the ability to walk into any forum any immediately captivate everybody. She was an amazing lady."

Tim Spiers

By Tim Spiers
@tim_spiers_Star

Writes about Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club for a living

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