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Manchester United bosses tell fan ‘try watching Rochdale’ amid disabled seating row

A lifelong Manchester United fan has hit out after he was told by the club to “try watching Rochdale, Oldham or Stockport” in a row over disabled seating.

Martin Emery, 33, was informed it wouldn’t be possible for him to sit with his elder disabled son Jordan and two younger sons, Ethan and Zac during an Old Trafford game. 

The Premier League side said it was against stadium “safety protocol” to have more than one seat available for wheelchair carers. 

And, after appealing the decision, Mr Emery claims a club official sent him an e-mail suggesting he take his sons to watch one of United’s lower league neighbours instead.

He said: “It’s left me feeling gutted about the club to be honest, and I’m torn now. 

“As a family we always try to do our best to make sure that Jordan and the boys get to experience things together as brothers should. 

“Although I like to thing of myself as ‘super-dad’, I can’t really sit in two places at once.

“Taking your sons to the match is something every dad looks forward to and I’m not able to do it just because he’s disabled.”

The email from United’s disability liaison officer is said to have read: “There are some clubs that would welcome you with open arms and possibly ask you to bring as many family members as possible.

“The downside is it wouldn’t be at Old Trafford, most probably Rochdale, Oldham or Stockport.” 

But, as a lifelong Red, Mr Emery said he doesn’t want to abandon the team he has supported since he was a young boy and has vowed to continue his campaign.

His son Jordan, 18, has a series of medical conditions, as well as learning difficulties, meaning he uses a wheelchair.

However Mr Emery was told due to space restrictions, he would have to get another adult to sit with his younger boys, who are aged six and four.

United bosses say their hands are tied because of safety procedures in the disabled section, which limit the number of carers allowed. 

They say they are committed to finding a solution for Mr Emery.

A United spokeswoman said: “The club received a request for a family of four including one wheelchair user and a carer to sit together at a game.

“We advised that due to the current configuration of our stadium and in line with stadium safety protocols, we were not able to facilitate that.

“The club is genuinely committed to assisting Mr Emery in meeting his request and is sorry that he was disappointed with its response.”

Story from The Daily Express