A disabled Ballymena United fan sustained injuries to his face and body when his wheelchair toppled over due to a pothole outside Windsor Park.
Now a DUP assemblyman, Paul Frew and local party councillor, John Carson, have called for public works to enable better disability access to the National Stadium to be ‘speeded up’.
Darren Wright was taken to the game at Windsor by his uncle, Sherman Wright, who always makes a point of taking the severely disabled man to Ballymena’s big cup games.
Paul Frew said: “Darren received facial and body injuries after an incident leaving Windsor Park whereby his wheelchair entered a pot hole on the way to Adelaide railway halt.”
Mr. Frew said he had been campaigning for work to be completed at the railway halt to enable wheelchair users to access the football stadium via the train.
“I raised questions away back at the start of the year when, at another Final supporting Ballymena United, I and others had to assist several wheelchair users to get to the railway station but then to get over the nearby foot bridge Presently there are two footbridges which have to be climbed to get to the stadium. This is unacceptable in this day and age when entering what will be world class stadium complex.”
And he added: “A planning application has been submitted by the IFA for the creation of a pedestrian link from Apollo Rd to the Stadium on behalf of DRD and Translink .
Disability access is key to all facilites and will inform the thinking of this route from the railway station to the stadium. I have written to the new DRD Minister asking her to apply pressure where she can to speed up this work.”
Cllr. Carson and Assemblyman Frew said: “Our thoughts are with Darren, he is a dedicated Ballymena United supporter and he was over the blue moon when Ervin and Jenkins lifted the Shield aloft after having conquered the mighty Linfield.”