Brentford have shared two heart-warming stories of inclusivity to help raise awareness of today’s World Down Syndrome Day.
The first film tells the story of six-year-old Woody who can only communicate through sign language, a very limited vocabulary and an incredibly infectious smile.
A couple of years ago, Woody underwent major heart surgery which gave him a much needed new lease of life and with that a desire to play football like any other child.
However, when Woody’s mum tried to get him into the local football team he was turned away.
Brentford quickly got in touch to offer Woody the chance to be mascot for the game against Reading – an experience the effervescent six-year-old will never forget.
A big Brentford fan, Woody’s mum said: “Watching Brentford is better than any speech therapy as Woody knows what other fans are saying and recognises the names and the songs.
“It interests him and he now copies what he hears – coming here has really helped him with four syllables.
“When I see him running on the pitch with his ball my boy looks like any other child out there dreaming of being a footballer. The club have really changed his life”
Then there is Anthony who has worked for the club for more than three decades and is a well-known presence around Griffin Park.
The life-long fan helps the ground staff three days a week to ensure everything is ready for each home game and has come to symbolise the overall matchday experience.
You can also watch Anthony’s story via Brentford’s YouTube channel.