Play-Off Crowdfunder Heroes – AccessiBlues

We’ve been delighted and sometimes humbled by all the donations we’ve received to enable Bath City to take part in the National League South Promotion Play-Offs this month.

As the figure now ticks towards £50,000, we’re able to draw breath and highlight some of those who’ve helped make this happen, starting with one of the most touching, AccessiBlues – the Birmingham City FC Official Disabled Supporters Association.

After hearing Jerry Gill appeal to fans of his former club, Birmingham City, for help raising the funds on a local talk show, the Association was moved to make a substantial donation and sponsor a player. The AccessibBlues’ representative, Steve Portman, told our Commercial Manger Bob Chester that they wanted to sponsor a young, up-and-coming player, and 17-year-old goalkeeper, Harvey Wiles-Richards, was chosen.

Steve told us the Association had a longstanding admiration for Jerry dating from his days at St Andrews in 1997-2002 and hoped that other fans would do the same for Birmingham City in similar circumstances. A grateful Jerry has invited the AccessiBlues to attend a match next season and it’s been agreed to auction Harvey’s shirt in Charlie’s after the match.

Steve sent us the following message of support:

“We are AccessiBlues, Birmingham City FC’s Disabled Supporters Association and we are proud to be sponsoring goalkeeper Harvey Wiles-Richards during your play-off campaign this season. May we wish you the very best of luck in pursuit of promotion.

AccessiBlues first formed in the 2015/16 season and by 2018 our efforts to help improve football for disabled supporters had been noticed by KickItOut and we were shortlisted for the #FansForDiversity award, which unfortunately we didn’t win.

However, last year at the first ever Fans For Diversity Awards ceremony in London we were shortlisted again for our work in an initiative called #AlliesInAccess and we won the Free Kick Award. Allies In Access is an initiative between disabled supporters from Blues, Villa, Wolves, WBA, Walsall and Wrexham where we share ideas to help each other make football more accessible.

AccessiBlues believe that as football supporters, rivalries outside of those 90 minutes of match time need to be put aside, especially in times of need and should all be there to help one another. We would hope that should this be Birmingham, someone out there would be there for us in a similar way.

We would like to add to our network where we can provide first hand advice to football clubs throughout the country in helping their disabled community to enjoy the football experience. Please give us a follow on our social media pages.

All the best



To find out more about the Play-Off Crowfunder Campaign or to donate, click here.