Level Playing Field recognises the great works undertaken by club staff and volunteers; those individuals who often work quietly behind the scenes and without seeking the limelight. Level Playing Field (LPF) aims to celebrate the work of these local champions through our LPF Annual Awards.
This year the Trustees have presented the “Outstanding Contribution Award” in recognition of someone who has been pro-active in identifying and solving issues for disabled supporters at his club for over a decade. LPF is honouring a local hero, a man who has made a huge difference for so many disabled fans at Derby County FC.
The Level Playing Field “Outstanding Contribution Award” goes to Keith Marson.
During his time as Disability Liaison Officer at Derby, Keith has been the most conscientious, friendly and dedicated person in assisting disabled people who visit the club on match and non-match days.
Keith has been instrumental and the driving force behind persuading Derby County FC to invest in new facilities and services that ensure that the ground meets Best Practice standards. His involvement has played no small part in Derby County achieving a “Level Playing Field Centre of Excellence Award” and this was acknowledged during the stadium announcement at the recent home game v Fulham.
The iPro Stadium is now one of the most accessible stadiums in the professional game. Based on Keith’s advice, improvements have included additional raised viewing platforms for wheelchair users (home and away fans), extra toilet facilities, rest point seating in the concourse areas and lowered counters at the refreshment bars.
Keith persuaded Derby County to install an audio-described match commentary service for blind and partially sighted supporters. He also worked alongside the disabled supporters association to help raise funds for golf buggies that provide an important matchday service in transporting disabled fans from the car parks and drop off points to the stadium gates.
Despite having recently retired through ill health, Keith continues to show his dedication to the club and its fans by walking around the stadium on match days visiting the areas where disabled supporters sit – both home and away – to ensure everyone is enjoying their day at Derby County FC.
LPF Chair Joyce Cook OBE says: “We are delighted to honour Keith and his beloved Derby County and hope that the two LPF awards, our highest accolades, help to show our appreciation for the many great works undertaken to improve the match day experience for disabled fans, The stadium stands as a shining example of just what is possible at an existing stadium when passion, dedication and determined minds come together. The iPro stadium stands as a shining beacon for other clubs. Thank you Keith – we proudly salute you.”
To find out more about the LPF Awards please see here