After struggling with her health over the last few years and sadly losing her husband too, Joan's only wish to her son, Andy was to have her Sale Sharks season ticket back as a gift for her 80th birthday.
Andy granted her this wish, and then got in touch with our Marketing Executive Melanie Hill, and our Media Manager Dave Swanton. Andy told us about his mother's story, and how her wish would be to meet some of the Sharks players.
Once our Chairman, Gordon McKie heard about this strong lady's story, and also that she was turning the fine age of 80, he invited her to sit at his table in the C&C Insurance Suite for the Saracens game.
Joan and her son Andy were treated to the best hospitality treatment at the AJ Bell Stadium, arriving early to indulge in a three-course meal and to have a few drinks before the game kicked off, all courtesy of the club.
The game was a nail biter, with Sale nearly taking all four points from the travelling Saracens, but this was not to be.
Despite this result, Joan had what she described as "the greatest birthday ever".
Our captain, Dan Braid along with some other players went up to the C&C Insurance Suite and greeted Joan, where they gave her a birthday card signed by the Sale squad. Our main partner Barlow Street Motors also gifted Joan with the match ball signed by the playing squad, and the Official Man of the Match sponsor, Albert's Chop House gave her a meal for two at their restaurant.
Speaking earlier this week, Joan said: "I was so excited when my son Andy told me, and the night turned out to be incredible. It was such a wonderful evening. I was overwhelmed with the kindness people showed me. People were so lovely to me and I could hardly believe what was happening."
"To be sat with Gordon the Chairman and Bill Beaumont, to meet players, to have a card signed by all the players and then the kind gesture by the sponsors that the signed match ball be presented to me by Dan Braid was an experience I will never forget and one I have never experienced anything like before.
"It was amazing. What a club Sale is! I am proud to be part of it!"
Joan's doting son, Andy also had a great evening, and had this to say: "I simply cannot thank Melanie, Dave, Gordon, the players and the club enough for what you did for my mum on her 80th Birthday. I was genuinely touched by the depth of kindness and thoughtfulness the club showed towards her.
"The club succeeded in making an elderly lady who has been through a lot in the last few years very, very happy indeed. So many people did so much and so many lovely gestures were made. However, it was more than that - it was also the sincerity with which this was done, the players, Gordon, guests and the club all showed love, happiness and kindness to her and were willing to involve her and spend time with her.
"She was overwhelmed by the gesture and described it as the most memorable birthday she has ever had - one that she will always remember and one of the happiest days of her life.
"She was floating when I finally got her home and insisted in opening sparkling wine at midnight. In the morning, she spent 3 hours phoning just about everybody she knows to tell them. Well done Sale, this was well beyond the call of duty!"
It was truly an honour for the club to welcome Joan and her son into the C&C Insurance Suite. On behalf of the club, we wish Joan the best of health, and even more happy memories to come from the AJ Bell Stadium.
See you in the stands, Joan!