As part of the CAFE #MyMatchday series, we interviewed Club Brøndby IF fan Thomas Kramer.

How and when did you become a supporter of Brøndby IF?

I became a season ticket holder in 2005, but I had been going to games well before this, probably around 2000. The more games I went, to more I wanted to go to.

What are some of your earliest memories of going to live matches?

I can remember my first international match at Parken Stadium. It was Denmark against Scotland in 1996, a friendly ahead of UEFA Euro 96. Michael Laudrup scored, of course, as did his brother Brian.

What have been some of your highlights of attending Brøndby IF matches?

Of course, my first cup final in 2005 was a very special occasion, as was our victory in 2018. Both matches were at Parken Stadium.

The moment I remember the best is from 2013, the year Brøndby IF were close to being relegated and even worse than that, they were on the verge of going bankrupt. The last match of the season was against our relegation rivals AC Horsens at their stadium.

I was lucky enough to be at the stadium and I have never experienced an atmosphere like it – it was so intense. Everyone in the stadium was just so nervous for the entire match. Lebogang Phiri scored in injury time to give Brøndby a 1-0 victory and gave redemption to the club.

I have never experienced anything like it in my life. The were the wildest of moods and celebrations in the stadium. It’s still such a huge highlight for me and I get chills thinking about it, even now.

Brøndby IF have had some great players over the years including Peter Schmeichel, Michael Laudrup and Johan Elmander. Who is your favourite ever player and why?

I am sure like most Brøndby fans, I am a fan of Peter Schmeichel and Michael Laudrup. Both are great icons of the club and I actually have pictures of me and them hanging here in my home. In more recent times, Daniel Agger is a real favourite for me. A great player who loyally returned home after playing in England for Liverpool. He’s a real Brøndby boy.

What does your typical matchday routine look like?

I am always at the stadium as soon as the entrances open, about an hour and a half before the start of the match. I like to sit in my seat and watch the stadium get more and more crowded, feel the atmosphere and watch the players during their warm up.

How important it is for you to be able to attend matches in an accessible and inclusive environment?

I think it is important that everyone - regardless of disability - can come out and watch football. Therefore, there needs to be facilities for everyone at stadiums. Disabled fans do not want favoured treatment, just the same opportunities as all other fans. Football must be seen in the stadium - and not just on TV.

What impact has attending matches had on you, your life and wellbeing?

First of all, it's just so much better to watch football in the stadium than on television. You become part of a community and I am generally happier when I can get to the stadium and watch football there. Even for an introvert like me, it is great to be the stadium.

How important is it for you to be able to attend matches and be sat with a group of your friends?

The most important thing for me is to be able to watch the match regardless of who I am with, but it would be brilliant if I could watch it with my family or friends. I often bring my father with me to matches, but unfortunately he has to watch the match from a seat 15-20 metres away from me. It's such a shame we can not share the impulsive moments that occur in football, such as goal celebrations.

How did the suspension of live football due to the Covid-19 pandemic impact on you?

Like everyone who loves football, something in my life has been missing.

Have you ever encountered a negative experience when attending a live match as a result of your disability?

Thankfully, I have not.

Do you feel it is important for clubs to speak regularly with their disabled supporters on all matters relating to access and inclusion?

Yes! We see things from "our" perspective and can more easily come up with advice and guidance for various issues concerning "us". We may have some challenges we would like to help solve, while clubs may think we have some challenges that we do not actually have at all. Communication both ways is very important.

Copenhagen is a host city for UEFA EURO 2020, will you be attending any matches played at the Parken Stadium or at other venues across Europe? What impact do you hope the tournament will have on disabled people in Copenhagen and in Denmark?

I will definitely try to get a ticket to the matches at Parken Stadium. It’s a great opportunity for disabled people to watch football at the stadium, which I hope many people will take.

I also hope that the clubs that play in these stadiums year-round will realise disabled people want to go to live games and will start to include us better and have the necessary facilities in place for us after the tournament has finished.

What message would you give to a disabled person who has yet to attend a live football match?

If you like football, come to the stadium. It is much cooler and enjoyable to watch it live in the stadium than on TV. You will not regret it. And there is nothing to be afraid of.

We would like to thank Thomas for sharing his powerful story with us and taking part in the #MyMatchday series. Thomas' story highlights some of the common issues faced by many disabled fans, such as not being able to watch games alongside friends or family.

Thomas also talks about the negative impact of not being able to attend games as a result of the global pandemic as well as the importance of effective communication between clubs and disabled fans. 

If you are a disabled fan, or know a disabled fan who would like to participate in our #MyMatchday interviews, please feel free to contact CAFE’s Fan Liaison, Access and Administration Officer, Amy Wilson, by email on [email protected] or call +44 (0)208 065 5108. You can also contact CAFE via Twitter at @cafefootball and Facebook on

Published 25/01/21