A NEWSAGENT who caught coronavirus early in lockdown is thanking his customers after they raised £10,000 for St Ann’s Hospice in tribute to him while he was fighting for his life.

Stan Taylor from Tyldesley admits he is lucky to be alive after catching Covid-19, with his family fearing he would not reach his 60th birthday in June.

Stan, who runs Little Hulton News and Booze with his brother-in-law Mike Fisher. He was put into an induced coma and spent a week on a ventilator due to the virus.

Thankfully, he is now back at work part-time and was delighted to receive a letter from St Ann’s Hospice informing him the shop – known as Stan’s – has raised £10,000 for the charity in his honour.

The donations came from customers who have been putting loose change into a collection box for several years.

Stan said: “I was very poorly and my wife Jane and our family were warned that I might not make it. Apparently, there were 38,000 likes for me on social media and the goodwill messages included one from Manchester United.

“There was obviously a lot of love out there for me and fortunately I managed to pull through. I still struggle breathing and have fluid on my left lung but I’m much better. My birthday bucket list was meant to include a visit to New York, but I’m just glad to be here and the illness has changed my perception on life.”

Mike who has run the shop with Stan for 20 years, said: “We both grew up round here so know what St Ann’s means to the community.

“We’ve thanked our customers for their generous donations on our Facebook page and to be honest most of the money has come from schoolchildren who’ve been putting the odd bit of change in the box.”

Eamonn O’Neal, chief executive of St Ann’s, said: “We can’t thank Stan, Mike and all of their amazing customers enough for their support – what a phenomenal amount raised for our patients. We’re so pleased that Stan is starting to feel better and grateful that despite his own health and what he’s been through, that he still thinks about others in the local community like this is incredible.”

n To contact the hospice about raising money call 0161 4983631 or email fundraising@sah.org.uk