Meet your Disabled Supporters' Board
The Disabled Supporters' Board acts as a platform for meaningful engagement and is the key conduit between accessibility supporters and the West Ham United Board, with the aim of working together to consult, discuss and set actions to help us achieve the best experience for our accessibility supporters across all areas.
Having held its first meeting in July, in advance of the 2018/19 campaign, the second meeting in January centred around providing updates on the actions taken since that previous consultation. It also provided the opportunity to propose a new Terms of Reference and open the floor for questions from DSB members.
To contact the DSB email [email protected]
Meet your Disabled Supporters' Board members...
Cathy Bayford (Co-Chair)
I am co-chairman of the Disabled Supporters’ Board and, along with Trevor Bright, I also sit on the Official Supporters’ Board. It became clear that having a standalone DSB would be extremely beneficial to both supporters and the Club, and I am proud of the work we have done together.
What was the first West Ham game you went to? The first game I can really remember is going to Cardiff and playing Preston North End in the Championship Play-Off. The passion from the fans was unbelievable.
Who is your favourite West Ham player of all time? Robert Green.
Favourite in the current squad? Mark Noble, Pedro Obiang, Pablo Zabaleta and Robert Snodgrass. They came down to find out about what the DSB is trying to achieve, and they really took on board what the issues were. They all listened and they all really cared.
Favourite West Ham memory? Beating Blackpool at Wembley Stadium in the 2012 Play-off Final. Everything about that day was special: the goals, the atmosphere, the celebrations. All of it.
Trevor Bright (Co-Chair)
I am co-chairman of the Disabled Supporters’ Board, and I’m also on the Official Supporters’ Board. I want to bring a better matchday experience for all fans and I believe this club is achieving a lot.
What was the first West Ham game you went to? I can’t remember the exact game, but I know Alan Devonshire was running up and down the wing about two feet away from me at Upton Park.
Who is your favourite West Ham player of all time? Personally, it’s still Alan Devonshire.
Favourite in the current squad? It’s Pablo Zabaleta. I’ve met him a couple of times at different functions and he was such a genuine, nice person to talk to. We saw the human side of him. Mark Noble stands out too.
Favourite West Ham memory? Beating Arsenal 1-0 in the FA Cup Final in 1980. Particularly because my two sons are Arsenal fans. I’ve got three videos and two DVDs in case they hide one, so I can always put it on when they come around. You can never forget moments like that.
I joined the DSB because I feel like I can make a difference. I want to help the club progress and make it more accessible, not just for people with disabilities, but for non-disabled people as well.
What was the first West Ham game you went to? The first game I went to was at Upton Park, but it was the England v Australia friendly in 2003 when Wayne Rooney made his debut.
Who is your favourite West Ham player of all time? Carlos Tevez. I know he was only here for a short period but he really connected with the fans and he knew what it meant to wear this badge.
Favourite in the current squad? It’s probably either Declan Rice or Mark Noble. They both give their all for the shirt, and that’s what I like to see and it’s all you can ask for.
Favourite West Ham memory? It was when Bobby Zamora scored against Preston North End in the Play-off Final in 2005. We went crazy when that ball went in the back of the net, and it got us back to the Premier League.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on the DSB so far, and find it to be a very responsive organisation. Together, with the club, we work well together to make a difference. There is a real commitment from the whole club to improving things.
What was the first West Ham game you went to? My first West Ham game was in October 1968 and West Ham played Leicester City. It was a very memorable game for me. I was only 12 years-old at the time and Martin Peters scored what became The Big Match Goal of the Season, and we won 4-0. It was a game I can still see in my mind’s eye.
Who is your favourite West Ham player of all time? I think, because I’ve met him and he’s such a fantastic man, it has to be Trevor Brooking. Not only was he a player to drool about in terms of his performances on the pitch, but what you hear of him is exactly what he’s like in real life. He is thoroughly likable and he is a West Ham supporter like the rest of us.
Favourite in the current squad? It is probably Robert Snodgrass. I think the way he has conquered adversity and come back from a difficult start with the club is a massive example to young players. We may have players with more flair and skill, but for pure character, it’s Robert Snodgrass.
Favourite West Ham memory? Just in terms of unexpectedness, it is the 4-0 win in the League Cup over Manchester United at the end of 2010. It is one of my early matches as a blind supporter. I was wearing a headset and I had two people coming with me to the match, who both sat behind me. I remember standing up and cheering when Jonathan Spector scored and I had the two friends clinging onto me and hugging me, and the man in front turned around, saw the fun, and leapt up and grabbed me by the front! So I had three people hanging onto me. I can remember people asking me why a blind person would go to a football match, when we can listen at home. I just think about that moment, with those three supporters hanging onto me: ‘you don’t get this at home’.
I represent the Bobby Moore Stand and it is an honour for me to pass on the knowledge I have accumulated as a community volunteer to the club that I love. Our thoughts on the DSB are carefully considered.
What was the first West Ham game you went to? Norwich City in 1993!
Who is your favourite West Ham player of all time? I’ve seen a lot! I would say Julian Dicks, because he really underpins what a leader is.
Favourite in the current squad? I would say Declan Rice, because West Ham is known for producing young players and Declan Rice really underpins that.
Favourite West Ham memory? I can’t remember the exact year, but I remember we played Bradford at the Boleyn Ground and came back to win 5-4. It was brilliant. I remember looking up and thinking ‘is this really happening?’
I am a West Ham United supporter with Motor neurone Disease, and I am on the DSB to help provide insight into my condition for the club. This board is a fantastic initiative, one I truly believe other Premier League clubs are envious of.
What was the first West Ham game you went to? I think it was in March 1967, against Liverpool, and I think we won 1-0!
Who is your favourite West Ham player of all time? It’s got to be Bobby Moore. I never saw him run because he was so good at anticipating. It was like the tackle he did on Pele at the World Cup. He didn’t have to run because his timing was so good.
Favourite in the current squad? Mark Noble.
Favourite West Ham memory? It’s the 1965 European Cup Winners’ Cup final.
I love to help people and I take pride in being a part of the DSB. I consider myself an approachable member of the West Ham United fan base, and like nothing more than speaking to my fellow supporters about their concerns.
What was the first West Ham game you went to? I must have been about six-years-old. Being born in Forest Gate, and my father, is still alive at 91, he used to take me in the Chicken Run. I remember all those games.
Who is your favourite West Ham player of all time? Billy Bonds.
Favourite in the current squad? Declan Rice. He’s very good for his age.
Favourite West Ham memory? In the FA Cup, in the semi-final, in the early 1980s. We lost to Nottingham Forest but even though we lost, the last half-hour, West Ham fans didn’t stop singing. I’ll never forget that. Even though we lost we were happy!
I have always liked helping my fellow West Ham supporters, and as a season ticket holder, I felt I had a responsibility to secure the best matchday experience for all fans.
What was the first West Ham game you went to? I can’t really remember actually. It was definitely at the Boleyn Ground, but I just can’t recall.
Who is your favourite West Ham player of all time? Definitely, Bobby Moore!
Favourite in the current squad? Mark Noble, I’ve chatted to him on a couple of occasions now and he seems very genuine.
Favourite West Ham memory? It’s got to be going on the road and seeing us winning a couple of trophies when I was a young man.
I am the father of a West Ham United supporter with autism, who has taken more and more interest in attending football matches in the last few years. I am working with the DSB to ensure other fans can have the same experiences.
What was the first West Ham game you went to? I remember being a Season Ticket Holder back in 1993 and we went on a bad run of form, and didn’t run a game in a really long time. However, we then drew 2-2 with Manchester United, and it felt like a victory!
Who is your favourite West Ham player of all time? Alan Devonshire.
Favourite in the current squad? It’s Felipe Anderson.
Favourite West Ham memory? Being able to come to a game with my son, and taking in the atmosphere with him. To see him enjoying the bubbles and celebrating the Irons scoring a goal.
While I do not believe my disability sets me back in any great way, I truly believe it’s important that everyone at football matches have equal opportunities. I believe West Ham is one of the front runners in ensuring disabled fans are taken care of, and I want to help the Club take this even further.
What was the first West Ham game you went to? I can’t actually remember the opponent, but my then-boyfriend brought me to the match. He’s now my husband!
Who is your favourite West Ham player of all time? Mark Noble. He is a really nice person and always seems to put himself out and make an effort for this club.
Favourite in the current squad? Mark Noble, for the same reasons as above.
Favourite West Ham memory? It has to be the final game at the Boleyn Ground. It was such an amazing atmosphere. Everyone was singing. It was so great.
Having initially written to the Club when I was diagnosed with my terminal illness and having been taken care of so wonderfully, I want to ensure that other supporters with disabilities continue to have a voice at West Ham United.
What was the first West Ham game you went to? I think it was against Swansea City in early 2014. West Ham won 2-0.
Who is your favourite West Ham player of all time? Bobby Moore, because I remember being six years-old when we won the 1966 World Cup. The bunting was out and everyone was celebrating. It was wonderful.
Favourite in the current squad? It’s either Mark Noble or Declan Rice.
Favourite West Ham memory? It has to be the final game at Upton Park against Manchester United. Walking out after that win, I must admit I had a tear in my eye.
I joined the DSB to voice the unheard supporters with their own stories and experiences. I enjoy the vision and passion of the club and other members of DSB, even at this very early stage of my involvement.
What was the first West Ham game you went to? It was Birmingham City in 1983 at Upton Park. We won 4-0!
Who is your favourite West Ham player of all time? Billy Bonds
Favourite in the current squad? Issa Diop
Favourite West Ham memory? It was the semi-final play-off win against Ipswich Town in 2004. That was one of the best atmospheres I ever experienced at Upton Park.
I applied to join the DSB as I hoped my experiences of visiting football grounds as a wheelchair user over many years would be useful. I enjoy meeting the other board members and hearing their points of view, as we work towards improving the match day experience at the London Stadium for all disabled fans.
What was the first West Ham game you went to? It was at the Boleyn Ground v QPR in February 1980.
Who is your favourite West Ham player of all time? Alan Devonshire.
Favourite in the current squad? It has to be Mark Noble.
Favourite West Ham memory? There have been some absolutely great ones but the two Championship Play-Off finals, against Preston North End and Blackpool, are just incredible memories.
I applied to join the DSB because I had a knee replacement when we were at Upton Park and realised that certain areas were lacking in the old ground for disabled supporters, and I wanted to help ensure those issues were taken care of at London Stadium. I enjoy chatting to the other members of the board, discussing issues and resolving them.
What was the first West Ham game you went to? I was about ten and my dad took me. He is from Holland and adopted West Ham as his local team. He had a Season Ticket in the Chicken Run so I used to stand there with him, and watch the games.
Who is your favourite West Ham player of all time? I absolutely loved Tony Cottee, but I think Paolo Di Canio probably pips it…
Favourite in the current squad? Declan Rice.
Favourite West Ham memory? When Di Canio scored against Fabian Barthez at Old Trafford in 2001.
Also on the DSB