In the mid-70s, last century:
I was desperate to get to see a match again following a catastrophic injury which left me in a wheelchair paralyzed from the shoulders down. As a Manchester United fan my ambition to get a ticket to a match was thwarted for more than 5 years due to the exceedingly small number of available tickets to people using wheelchairs. When the breakthrough finally came, I was offered 3 tickets at the end of a season and then a season ticket arrived for the next season which felt like a lifetime of Christmases bundled together!
Although nervous on approaching Old Trafford for the first time, I was also feeling the excitement and the excitement just grew and grew the closer I got to the stadium. I didn’t know what to expect as I had never noticed the facilities for supporters with disabilities when I was fully able bodied, like so many people, I felt that disabled supporters must be watching from somewhere but never thought anything more about it. Seeing the crowds from a different level was an experience I wasn’t ready for; staring at peoples ‘backsides’ all the way down Warwick Rd (as it was then) wasn’t the best view but the stadium came into view and there it was!
Being inside the stadium also involved a learning curve as I was led by a steward through a rabbit warren of corridors. All the nerves disappeared only to be overtaken by bewilderment as I realized the end of the journey was at the top of the players tunnel with the players dressing rooms to my left. I could hear the bustle of noise from behind the dressing room doors which soon opened with both teams starting to make their way towards the tunnel. It was an incredible experience to be within touching distance of my heroes!