Today is World Down Syndrome Day!
Firstly, we have Woody’s story. Woody is a young many who was excluded from football and Brentford FC have tried to help.
Woody is six years old, non-verbal, and has Down Syndrome. He 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.
Nat, Woody’s mum, tried to get Woody into their local football team but was turned away. She turned to social media late one night to raise awareness of the issue and a friend told her to get in touch with Brentford. Nat went to bed that night and through the powers of social media we were in touch! She woke up to 100’s of notifications from friends and missed calls and messages from the club.
That day, Woody came to our match and was made mascot for the day. He led the Bees out in his new kit with “Woody 6” on the back. Nat described it as “the best day of his life”. Woody and Nat have been back to Griffin Park several times since and now have a very special bond with the club and the staff. When we recently played Stoke City, Peter Crouch even took some time out to chat and posed for a picture.
Nat says that “watching Brentford is better than any speech therapy as Woody knows what other fans are saying, 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”
We are so proud to have Woody as a Brentford supporter and we can’t wait for him to come again very soon.
We also have Anthony’s story. Anthony has worked for us for more than three decades and is a well-known presence around Griffin Park.
For a generation of players and supporters, life-long Brentford fan Anthony Talbot has come to symbolise matchday. A smiling, welcoming presence in the stands and on the pitch at Griffin Park, Anthony has spent more than 30 years working for the club he supports. While managers, players, and staff have come and gone, Anthony has remained at the heart of our matchdays. Here’s Anthony’s story: