Celtic invite fan with Asperger syndrome to his first match
Scottish champions Celtic FC recently invited a lifelong fan who has Asperger syndrome to attend his first live match.
Mark Horodecki, aged 33, is a passionate Celtic fan but had never been able to watch the team live.
Asperger syndrome is a form of autism, which is a disability that affects how a person makes sense of the world, processes information and relates to other people.
Mark receives support from Walsingham Support, a UK NGO that works to increase the quality of life of disabled people. Staff at Mark’s local service liaised with his father and contacted the club to organise a visit to Glasgow.
Celtic welcomed Mark and his support worker to their match against St Johnstone in January 2016, which Celtic won 3-1. The club provided Mark with an unforgettable experience and he was able to meet Manager Ronny Deila and the first-team squad.
Mark then watched the match from the Director’s Box at Celtic Park.
Chris Mahoney, Mark’s support worker who accompanied him to the match, said, “Attending the Celtic game was a huge achievement for Mark and Celtic’s generosity made it even more a trip to remember. It was great to see Mark get into the full spirit of the game, shouting his support for Celtic. Mark thoroughly enjoyed the day and Celtic winning made it all the more special”.
CAFE Managing Director Joyce Cook added, “It is great to hear that Mark had such a positive experience at Celtic Park, and was able to enjoy his first live match in a welcoming environment. Disabled people are the largest minority group in any population, and football has a unique power to bring people together”.
“Increased awareness of accessible facilities and services can help many more disabled people like Mark attend their first live matches”.
For more information about Walsingham Support, please visit https://www.walsingham.com.