The Supporters Association exists to represent the fans of Stevenage Borough FC. To mimic that often used phrase of late, – “it does what is says on the tin”…

Every significant football club in the land has an organised group of supporters representing the viewpoint of the fan on the terrace, and providing funds for the club. That’s what we do. That’s what we’re about.

However, above and beyond that, there are also specialist groups, which focus upon specific aspects on behalf of the average football supporter, – fighting their corner, representing their interests.

“WATCHING FOOTBALL IS NOT A CRIME” – this is the current campaign being promoted by the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF). The FSF are most concerned about the Violent Crime Reduction Act (2006), – particularly Section 27. The FSF say that this allows the police to move, detain, or refuse entry to grounds for football supporters. So concerned are they, that the FSF have recruited the help of Liberty, with recourse to the Human Rights Act and all that this entails.

Meanwhile, another football fan organisation, which I personally have a close affinity to, are also launching a campaign. The Association of Wheelchair and Ambulant Disabled Supporters (AWADS) want every wheelchair user to submit reports about the grounds and stadiums that they visit. From this information, a database will be produced, so that on-line detailed knowledge can be shared before journeying to an away venue. Their interesting website has a commentary about every league stadium, and selected non-league grounds. You can check out Stevenage Borough’s submission on: http://www.awads.co.uk/index.php

Wigan Athletic FC too have made wheelchair users a high priority at the JJB Stadium by launching their “You’ll Never Watch Alone” initiative. This is designed to integrate and incorporate wheelchair users with the general supporters, – instead of corralling them into a dedicated area.

We might all be passionate about our Team. We might all aspire for a higher status for our Club. However, when it all comes down to it, all football supporters are the same. We share each others’ glory. We share each others’ anguish. This is why, in my opinion, organisations like the FSF and AWADS are pivotal in this sport which we love…

Lloyd Briscoe
Chairman of Stevenage Borough Supporters Association

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