Lifelong Saints fan Alice Wingate got to meet her heroes yesterday (Tuesday) when she joined the team for a special ceremony at Pro-Life Fitness Centre in Paisley.
The 78-year-old great-gran, who has been a member of Pro-Life since it first opened in Espedair Street in 1990, was one of two special member guests to join St Mirren players to cut the ribbon on the new HIITS Zone (High Intensity Interval Training Suite).
The area at the gym in New Sneddon Street has had a complete makeover with superb new equipment installed as part of a £100,000 revamp by Renfrewshire Sports Charity.
Buddie Alice was chosen by chief executive Gayle Brannigan to carry out the honours alongside well known Paisley businessman Joe Ram who says walking through the doors of Pro-Life was one of the best decisions of his life.
A decade ago 60-year-old Joe, who owns Spicy Joe’s in the town, was warned by his doctor that his life was at risk from Type 2 Diabetes and he had to take action or face daily injections for the rest of his life.
He said: “I remember seeing all these big, really fit looking guys coming out and almost walked away. As soon as I went inside and got a great welcome by everyone I knew it was for me.
“I just love it. I’ve lost over three stones through my nutrition and training programme and I’ve made friends for life. I’ve run a 3k, 5k 10k and half marathon all for Accord since I got fit with the help of the team at Pro-Life.
“I’ve got my health back. This is quite something today being asked to help with the ceremony. It’s an honour really and I’m grateful to be have been chosen.”
Alice, who was in her element meeting the players as they trained in the new suite, smiled broadly and said: “What a day this has been. I’m a St Mirren season ticket holder and have stuck by them through thick and thin.
“It’s just fantastic to get to meet them all. I can’t believe it and it’s all down to Gayle for making my day. Pro-Life has been like a second family to me. I’ve been a member for over 25 years. I tried other places in between initially but soon decided there was only one gym for me.
“Look at me getting the chance to be a VIP and cut the ribbon with John Sutton, our goalie Calum Gallagher and chairman Gordon Scott and of course Joe too. It’s just magic.”
A beaming Alice added: “I just can’t stop smiling. I’ll treasure this memory and the picture of me with the boys will be something to keep forever.”