Mikhailo Bashynskiy

I've always been not only a football fan, but an active player. In 1979, as a teenager I trained at the football section at my favourite FC Karpaty Lviv. In 1983 I did my military service in Hungary and played for my regiment.

When I came back home, I set up an amateur football team in my village which still exists and plays.

After a terrible accident that changed my life, I couldn’t play anymore, but it didn’t stop me from following my favourite team. There was no permanent disabled supporters group at that time. I came to the stadium with my friends, and was seated on the track near the pitch. There was no shelter to protect us from rain or snow, no accessible toilets. But it was less important than the opportunity to watch the matches.

Our old stadium was not a welcoming place for disabled people, apparently not many of them went to see the games.

In 2011 I went to the great opening of the brand-new Lviv Arena that hosted the UEFA EURO 2012 matches. It was a breath-taking experience. I’ve never seen such a great stadium in my life. And it’s amazing how much attention was given to its accessibility. I felt very comfortable in there and didn’t have any problem with moving around. I’m sure that more disabled fans would be happy to go to this stadium when they know how accessible it is. The new times have come and I’m happy to witness it with my own eyes.