Men In Sheds at Stoke City vs Southampton Match
Stoke City community team invited our Men in Sheds groups to try out their new accessible room at the Bet 365 stadium for the Stoke City vs Southampton match on Saturday 30th September 2017.
The attendees arrived at the ground at 1:30pm and were shown to the room which is located on the 4th floor of the main stand in the Q Railing stand.
The room is designed to be suited for many types of groups, is fully wheel chair friendly and affords a wonderful view of the pitch.
Everyone was made to feel very welcome and the gents settled in to watch the day unfold from being an empty stadium, to gradually filling up to kick off.
Stoke started the game brightly but it was 40 minutes before the deadlock was broken by Mame Diouf who put Stoke ahead with a header. Three minutes later Saido Berahino was bought down in the penalty area by Southampton’s Virgil Van Dyke, referee Mike Jones had little hesitation awarding a penalty. Southampton and England ‘Keeper Fraser Forster managed to save the penalty and the Potters went into half time leading 1-0.
The 70th minute saw Peter Crouch enter the pitch, replacing Berahino, which pleased a few of the Stoke supporters in the Men in Sheds group, one or two said he’ll score. It was 75th minute before the next goal however, Maya Yoshida hit the ball from the edge of the Stoke penalty area onto the underside of the bar to beat Jack Butland and level the score to 1-1. The game was finely balanced and set for a tense finish, Peter Crouch managed to guide the ball home in the 85th minute after a bit of a scramble to settle the game 2-1 in favour of Stoke City. His celebration was a Klinsmanesque dive, right below the box the group were watching the match from.
There were 29,285 in attendance at the game including the 10 in the group from Approach, none volunteered to count the crowd just before kick off. We spent time reminiscing about how football used to be, discussing the old “Casey” balls, using newspapers as shin pads and sharing football boots. We asked the group what the big differences were from when they attended football games, the quality of the pitch, the all seater ground, the number of staff/ stewards and the wonderful facilities were all mentioned in their replies.
The team in the accessible room were very supportive with members of the community team and a supporters representative joining us for the game. Julie, the room host was very supportive, making drinks for everyone and assisting wherever she could. The Men in Sheds group all spoke well about their matchday experience, many hadn’t been able to attend a football match for over 20 years. Everyone went home with a smile on their face having had a great day.
We’d like to thank Stoke City and the Community team for inviting the group to the game and all the staff we came into contact with at the ground, all were wonderful and a real credit to the football club. We hope to be able to attend again sometime soon.
If you’d like to know more about what Approach do or the services that we offer to help people affected by Dementia, please feel free to browse our website Approach or call us on 01782 214999