Members of our Disabled Supporters’ Board were recently given the chance to meet West Ham United players at London Stadium.
The DSB members were keen to share their experiences with Mark Noble, Pablo Zabaleta and Pedro Obiang, and help explain how supporters can do their bit to create a positive matchday experience for them.
These passionate Season Ticket Holders have worked with the club over the past two years to help us improve the matchday experience for disabled supporters across a range of areas.
With their input, supporters at London Stadium now have access to 253 wheelchair accessible viewing spaces, 49 accessible toilets – all with radar locks, one in four food and drink kiosks fitted with lowered counters and a dedicated accessible bus service.
Hammers skipper Noble said: “A lot of hard work has gone into it and as the club evolves we need to keep evolving everywhere, not just on the pitch and at the training ground, but for all our supporters and especially the disabled supporters.”
Defender Zabaleta added: “It was a great experience because sometimes we don’t realise how tough it is for them on matchdays. It’s good to hear from them of all the different issues they’ve got."
Trevor Bright, Co-Chair of the DSB, said: “The fact that the players took the time and the trouble to come and spend an afternoon with us means a lot to me personally and for the Disabled Supporters’ Board. It’s great to know that the players can be behind us as well as we are behind them.
“Since I’ve been involved with the DAB it’s improved the matchday experience immensely. What would be a minor problem for anybody else can become the difference between actually wanting to go to a football match and not being worth the effort. It’s brilliant that there’s players who are prepared to come and talk and understand.”
Cathy Bayford, Co-Chair of the DSB, said: “The players have really shown that they appreciate the issues we face as the less abled coming into a big stadium like this, and some of the extra facilities we need to use."