Disabled Stoke City fans are calling for the club to create a dedicated stand for them – because they are missing all the action when able-bodied (sic) supporters stand up.
Stoke City Disabled Supporters Group has launched a petition calling for the club to give wheelchair-bound (sic) fans a better view at the Britannia Stadium. It has been signed by more than 300 supporters. The group will be meeting the club to discuss the issue.
Wheelchair-bound (sic) petition organiser Linda Bradshaw, of Market Drayton, who has a season ticket in the Boothen End, said: “I’ve had fans standing up in front of me for years and I’ve been fighting with the club to get it sorted. “I’ve been a fan when I wasn’t in a wheelchair, so I don’t blame fans for standing up when there’s a goal or a corner as I did it myself, but the club needs to look at the rows in front of the disabled sections. We’ve asked the club many times to either raise the disabled area or move the rows in front, but they haven’t done anything.
“Both disabled and non-disabled fans have been very supportive and since I set up the petition they’ve been great.”
“Football’s a passionate game, and I fully understand the supporters’ desire to stand. But the club needs to sort the bays out to make sure disabled fans can enjoy the game. I don’t have this problem at other grounds.”
Non-disabled Potters’ fan Tony Morris has supported Linda with the petition. The 50-year-old, of Newstead, said: “We all love Stoke City to bits, but we want the club to give disabled fans a bit more thought. The fans have a right to stand up and cheer but not everyone thinks about those in wheelchairs.” He added: “A lot of people have said the only answer is to move all of the disabled seats to the front of the stands but that’s not fair because everyone knows that if you’re on the front row you end up getting soaked when it rains. “The only way I think it would work is if they created a block specifically for disabled people when they start filling the corners of the ground in.”
The Stoke City Supporters’ Council is set to discuss the issue at its next meeting. Council member Peter Elkin, of Cheadle, said: “I have some disabled friends who attend matches and I understand where some concerns may be coming from. “Maybe it would be a good idea to have a dedicated section for disabled fans as that way they would not be missing any of the action. This should be something the council will discuss at our next meeting as we don’t want any fans to feel restricted in any way.”
Stoke City have planning permission to put in extra seats between the Seddon stand and the Marston’s Pedigree stand to accommodate a further 1,800 fans. It is not known how many wheelchair-bound (sic) fans – who are currently spread throughout the stadium – attend matches at the Brit.
A Stoke City spokesman said: “We will not be commenting.”
Article originally appeared on The Sentinel website. http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/Disabled-Stoke-City-fans-want-better-view/story-22296828-detail/story.html