Woody Welcomes Wolverhampton Wanderers
Updated: Nov 2, 2022
It was a tough match against Aston Villa on Sunday. Three goals inside 15 minutes put the writing on the wall for our Bees, but at Brentford we are a family and as Thomas Frank said after the match, “We win together, we lose together.”
We can't carry on without mentioning how awesome it was to see Danny Ings wearing ear defenders alongside Riley Regan at the Aston Villa match last weekend. Riley has Autism and ADHD and wears the ear defenders to cope with loud noises. What a brilliant way to show inclusion and support.
Woody and I can hardly believe that after tomorrow we will have our bellies full of mince pies and Santa will have swept down the chimney with our gifts by the time we have our next home game on Boxing Day. The World Cup begins on the 20th November and we hope to see lots of our Bee’s in action during the four-week tournament.
However, we turn our focus, one hundred percent to the arrival of Wolverhampton Wanderers come Saturday afternoon. Wolves took the three points away from the Gtech early this year, scoring two goals, and our own Lion Ivan Toney scoring our only goal.
In the wild, wolves live together as a pack. The pack supports each other, the stronger wolves will protect the other members of the pack regardless of their abilities. The wolves will share knowledge about how to survive and hunt, passing this down through the generations. At the Wolves Foundation they operate a ‘One Pack’ ethos which means that the Foundation provides opportunities and access to education, sport and skills that promotes equality and is inclusive and diverse in its nature.
The Disability FC team are very much part of the pack. They have 70 players over six teams including – Adult, Under 16 and Under 12. Each year they try to arrange a game on the pitch which is a crowd favourite. Players and staff always look forward to this fixture. In previous years they have played Norwich and Cardiff at half time of a Premier League fixture. They are memorable occasions for the players and families in the crowd. This link shows what it means to everyone to have them play in front of a full house.
What we loved reading about is how local company ‘Energy Angels’ have recently become the very first sponsor for the Disability FC shirt. Energy Angels have a long history with Wolves and have provided pitch side advertising as well as sponsoring the Women’s team shirt. Energy Angels helps to secure the most cost effective energy prices which we know is so important in the current environment. The company is also introducing five paid volunteer days to its staff members each year and the Wolves Foundation are hopeful that they will benefit from this initiative. This partnership sounds like a ‘pack made in heaven’ to us.
One of the things that really got Woody excited was the sensory room at the Molineux ground. The room was converted from an executive box a few years ago and includes a television, white board and sensory equipment such as lights and a bubble machine. We loved hearing about Eddie Herman and his Dad, Steve, who have really been able to enjoy the match because of this room. Eddie has additional needs including Autism and his Dad was worried that he wouldn’t love the football experience because of the noise, which could overwhelm Eddie. However, back in December Eddie used the sensory room and had an absolute blast watching Wolves take on Chelsea.
You can watch a video of the sensory room - here
As well as the sensory room Wolves hold an ‘Accessible Sensory Tour’ which allows fans to access the changing rooms and pitch side as well as providing time to take in the sights, smells and sounds of the stadium. The tour ends at the mega store for the ‘Autism Hour’. The Autism Hour takes place each Sunday. The lights in the store are lowered and those who attend can expect the music to be turned off as well as dedicated staff on hand to help them. Staff on the tours and in the Megastore have been trained in a range of inclusivity such as autism, dementia, Deaf, visual impairments and more to really help those supporters who attend for Inclusive Hour or on an Inclusive Tour.
Finally, Woody and I would like to pay our respects to lifelong Wolves fan, Cath Owen. Sadly, Cath passed away earlier this year at the age of 96. Cath had been going to the Molineux Stadium to watch her beloved team, with Husband, Bill, since the 1960’s. She absolutely loved Wolves and despite having dementia Cath was able to access the games every week. A few years ago, Wolves began a ‘Molineux Memories’ support group for fans who have dementia and their carers. When the COVID-19 lockdowns began these fans struggled, and Cath herself took a turn for the worse. Unfortunately, by the time the stadiums reopened, Bill had passed away and Cath was reluctant to return to her seat to cheer on her team. The Wolves team engaged with Cath and her care team to make sure she could feel confident to attend each match and most importantly enjoy herself. They created the ‘Dementia Care Project’ which meant Cath had a special map of the ground, a sticker on her seat to make it easily identifiable for her and a purple wristband to make sure extra assistance was available. The team also provide a special match day pack which covers the Clubs history and any key talking points about the game. Cath was clearly a much loved member of the Wolves family and we are grateful to Wolves for making it possible for her to enjoy her favourite team for as long as she could.
You can hear for yourself what it meant to Cath in this video.
Whilst we won’t be back at the Gtech stadium until 26thDecember, Woody and I will be bringing you two extra blogs in the meantime. We will be shining the light on our Womens football team who are in action on 13th November and we will also be taking a look at how Brentford themselves are ensuring our fans can access the match day experience.
In the meantime we hope you all enjoy the spectacle that is the World Cup and we hope our English Lions can match the success of our Lionesses from this summer and bring home the trophy.