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Disabled Wolves fan vows to boycott club in car parking row

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A disabled Wolves fan of 70 years has said he may never visit Molineux again after being refused entry to a car park at the stadium.

John Shirley, aged 76, grew up supporting the club from Swansea and has visited the stadium throughout his life.

He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 25 years ago and is now confined to a wheelchair.

Mr Shirley's visits have become less frequent over the years, but his 60th birthday party, which was attended by Rachel Heyhoe Flint and former Wolves star John Richards, was held at the home of his beloved Wolves.

But his latest visit, when he attended the Wolves v Ipswich game on April 18 with his elderly carer and a friend, left him with such a sour taste he has said it may be his last.

After attending the fixture in the previous season and parking in the disabled car park, he attempted to do the same this year.

However he was told he would have to park close to the University, around 400 yards away, in the event that a fire engine should be called to the ground.

Mr Shirley, who now lives in Cheltenham, said: "When we asked why we couldn't park in the disabled area we were told that fire engines would have to use those spaces in the case of a fire.

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"Wolves have had a very good reputation over the years for the way they treat their disabled supporters, but for me that reputation was destroyed.

"The experience left me feeling angry that the club I love treats the disadvantaged in such a callous manner.

"My elderly carer had to push me back uphill to the University car park after the game and it left him exhausted.

"Given the difficulties that this policy created for me, it probably means I will never visit Molineux again, which leaves me deeply saddened.

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"It is hard to just cut off ties with a nearly lifelong love affair but I don't want to go through that again.

"I have such fond memories of the club, they were the team to support when I was growing up.

"I first saw them beat Cardiff 9-1 at Ninian Park and when I used to play football as a youngster I was always imitating their star players."

Wolves spokesman Matt Grayson said disabled spaces are allocated at the start of the seasons with the Wolves Disabled Supporters Association.

He said: "On a match day, we provide a large number of free of charge disabled parking bays to our disabled supporters, far more than most other football clubs.

"These spaces are allocated at the start of the season based on a ballot system, and in conjunction with the Wolves Disabled Supporters Association.

"In addition, there is a disabled supporters' drop-off point outside the Stan Cullis Stand for both Ring & Ride and private cars.

"There are a very small number of disabled parking bays, which can't be used on a match day.

"However, these spaces are re-allocated on a match day and, therefore, don't affect the overall disabled parking provision."

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