News archive for 2018/19.

Latest ECDSA news 11/09/18

Once again we’re extremely grateful to Exeter City FC for allowing us to have a bucket collection at the Lincoln City match on 1st September, 2018.

For several seasons now this has helped us greatly in boosting our funds towards improving facilities at St James Park for supporters with disabilities.

Through the generosity of fans we raised a fantastic amount of £260.12

This season alone we’re supporting a number of projects around St James Park including End of Seat Hand Rails for the IP Office stand, TV screens for the new stand to assist those who cannot hear the tannoy announcements, equipment for the new Changing Places Room and Safety Netting to protect those in the accessible bays at the front of the Big Bank stand from flying balls when players are warming up before games.

We’ll be handing Exeter City FC £4,000 or more this season alone and we’re only able to hand this amount over due to years of fundraising through Christmas draws and collections. We’ve still been doing stuff for the club over the years but we’ve also been saving to allow us to help with bigger amounts when called upon.


Christmas Draw 2018 – Are You Able to Donate a Prize?

We know it’s only September but we will be holding our Christmas Draw again this season and are on the hunt for prizes. We would very much like to hear from anyone able or willing to help by donating a prize. If you are, please email: ecfcdsa@gmail.com or telephone Nick on 07913 256697 – thank you.

Committee Members for 2018/19 –

Like the Terminator, Nick Saunders is back as our chairman and the following is all those on the committee.  David Jones (vice-chair and membership), Sue Harwood (secretary), Trevor Harwood (treasurer), Jeanne Jones, Martin Robertson and Lee Holmes (president).

Membership recruitment drive 2018

We are working on recruiting 100 members this season as this has always been our hope since our DSA was formed back in 2007. Membership is available for only £5.00 per season and this ensures our members are included in the ECFC Priority Group database for tickets etc. Membership is open to everyone and not just to those with disabilities.

If you would like to join us please download a membership form from our Join Us webpage.

Please come and join us and help us greatly in reaching our 100 members target.


Exeter City Football Club


To help with accessibility and safety, both the IP Office Stand and the new Stagecoach Family Stand have been fitted with new and improved end of seat hand rails, this followed a successful trial in the IP Office stand last season.

This has been made possible thanks to supporter groups including the Exeter City Disabled Supporters Association (ECDSA), who donated £1,000 to this cause.

Martin Robertson (pictured) said ‘I have difficulty getting to my seat near the top of the IP Office Stand because of mobility and balance problems but these hand rails will make a huge difference in giving me support, confidence and increased safety when I go up and down the steps’.

The hand rails were in place for the Cheltenham Town game on 22nd September and are ergonomically shaped to help with grip.

Nick Saunders (ECDSA Chairman) said ‘the new hand rails are a big step forward in improving accessibility and safety to the stands and it’s pleasing that ECDSA has been able to support such a worthwhile improvement thanks to the generosity of the club’s supporters and other supporter groups’.

To date we’ve raised over £21,000 since forming in 2007 and have donated over £12,000 towards many projects at Exeter City FC for the benefit of those with disabilities, which adds better facilities for a better match day experience.



It’s Christmas draw time again after a break last season and as you can see we’ve some fantastic prizes to be won and we thank all the companies who have donated a prize for their kindness and support of ECDSA.

Our Christmas draw’s are our main fundraiser and all funds raised helps us to help Exeter City FC to improve facilities for those with disabilities which makes for a better match day experience.

If anyone can help us in selling tickets please let us know as we’ve only 2000 tickets to sell before draw night on Wednesday 12th December.

If members want to buy tickets on match days please look out for our sellers around Red Square and in the Centre Spot and the chairman will be in the new stand in the front row, block D, just stop them and they will gladly sell you some tickets.

If not, to make things easier for those who would like to buy tickets please send money for draw tickets to us, address to send tickets can be found at http://ecfcdsa.co.uk/contact-us and we’ll fill out tickets to the amount sent to us with your details (please include Name/email/contact number when sending money)  and once done we’ll email you your ticket numbers for your records.

Good Luck


Disabled Supporters Association reach Milestone

As the Disabled Supporters Association (ECDSA) exceed 100 members chairman Nick Saunders says “this is a huge achievement for our association and a significant milestone which we’ve hoped for since our formation back in 2007”.

Committee member Martin Robertson has led a membership recruitment drive this season to further enhance the awareness of the Disabled Supporters Association through its supporters, club and players. Martin said “everyone here is passionate about providing a really good match day experience for all supporters with disabilities and by increasing membership and undertaking fund raising initiatives such as the Christmas draw, we hope to be able to provide funds to make St James’ Park wholly accessible to home and away fans and have accessible facilities that we can all be very proud of”.

ECDSA has already contributed significant funds this season to help with the end of seat hand rails in the IP Office Stand and providing accessible equipment for the new ‘changing places room’ in the Stagecoach Adam Stansfield Stand (more news on this shortly). Nick said “there’s still lots to do like improved access to the club shop and other areas at the club but all is looking great with the new build which we’ve had our input on. All this has only been possible with a great Club and DSA working relationship and understanding on both sides”.

Membership is now heading towards 150 members but before that Martin took time out to present Christine Jenkinson with a bottle of wine in recognition on becoming the association’s 100th member for the first time in a season.

If you would like to become a member, membership is available for just £5.00 per season. Anyone can join us as you don’t have to have a disability and all members are included on the ECFC Priority Group database for tickets etc. Go to: Join us


Changing Places Facility Officially Opens at Exeter City Football Club

Exeter City’s Changing Places facility in the Stagecoach Adam Stansfield Stand has officially been opened on the EFL’s Day of Disabilities.

On Monday, December 3 saw the EFL host the first ever Day of Disabilities, which puts the spotlight on the work clubs do in the ever-expanding area of disability football and making football accessible to all supporters.

The new changing places room in the Stagecoach Adam Stansfield Stand was part of the £3.5 million redevelopment at St James Park, which was completed in October 2018.

Changing Places toilets are larger than a standard accessible toilet and include a height-adjustable bench, a hoist and room for a wheelchair and up to two cares.

Standard accessible toilets do not meet the needs of all people with a disability. People with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well as people with other physical disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis often need extra equipment and space to allow them to use the toilets safely and comfortably. These needs are met by Changing Places toilets.

Although the new facility is housed in the Stagecoach Adam Stansfield Stand it is open to all home and away supporters.

The changing places facility has been a collaboration between the club and the Exeter City Disabled Supporters Association. The ECDSA raised £3000 which has paid for the bench, hoist and privacy screen. The funds were raised through their Christmas draws and bucket collections.

Nick Saunders, ECDSA chairman said: “We at ECDSA strive to ensure access for all. The Changing Places room is a good chance to make an improvement that has been missing.

“This is a fantastic facility that is the first in Devon at a professional football club. This has all been made possible by the hard work of the ECDSA committee, it’s members and the fans of Exeter City Football Club.”

Justin Quick, Exeter City’s general manager said: “Exeter City Football Club is constantly striving to move forward and improve the facilities for all supporters.

“Changing Places was high on the agenda when discussing the facilities in the new stand. We are delighted that in working with ECDSA the facility is now officially open.”

Elaine Davis, on behalf of the Supporters’ Trust added: “As a Supporters owned club we are proud to look after all our supporters, both home and away, who will use the this fantastic new facility at the Park.”

This season the EFL have published a new set of Disabled Facilities Guides for supporters of all 72 league clubs – every season there is a new set of guidelines produced.

Photos and article used by kind permission of Scott Palfrey (ECFC Marketing Manager)


2018 Christmas Draw raises a massive £1,671.56 

Over the last couple of months’, a group of volunteer ticket sellers, led by Committee Member Martin Robertson, have been busy persuading supporters and the good people of Exeter and beyond to part with a little bit of their hard-earned cash in exchange for a Christmas Draw raffle ticket.

Again, for this year’s Christmas Draw (which is held every two years) we are extremely grateful to all those who so kindly donated prizes for the draw including: – Exeter Nissan, Mi Space – Midas, GreenMyBusiness, Subway of Sidwell Street, Mr D Herniman, Signs Express, Hartley’s Certified Accountants, Elaine Davis & ECFC and ECDSA Committee Members, together with everyone who sold and purchased draw tickets.

The draw took place on Wednesday, December 12th at 7pm at the Park and was attended by City player & ECDSA President – Lee Holmes, together with Russell Lemon from Exeter Nissan who both helped to draw the lucky winning tickets. All in all, there were 31 prizes up for grabs.

We are pleased to announce that £1,671.56 was raised and this will be used to help improve facilities at St James’ Park for supporters with disabilities.

ECDSA chairman Nick Saunders said ‘the bi-annual Christmas draw is a major fundraiser for us, but without the support of local business and individuals we could not achieve as much as we do in helping to make the match day experience at Exeter City so much better for all supporters with disabilities – thank you all so much for your generosity and support of our DSA’.

For more information about what we do, please visit http://ecfcdsa.co.uk – Membership available for just £5.00 per season. We are an ECFC Priority Group for tickets etc.

Below is the full list of prizes and winners:

Nissan ‘X-Trail Tekna for the Weekend’ (donated by Exeter Nissan) – J Thorne.

4 ball golf at Exeter Golf and Country Club – Voucher (donated by Mi Space – Midas) – S Rickard.

‘Director for the Day’ for 2 at Exeter City FC (donated by Elaine Davis, ECFC Director) – A Mogleston.

Christmas hamper (donated by GreenMyBusiness) –
M Robertson.

£50 Tesco vouchers (donated by Signs Express) –
M Metherell.

£50 Sainsbury’s vouchers (donated by Signs Express) –
J Taylor.

Signed 2018/19 ECFC Shirt (donated by Exeter City FC) –
B Stenton.

Hospitality for 2 (donated by Exeter City FC) –
P Saunders.

£100 (donated by Mr D Herniman) – M Robertson.

Bottle of champagne (donated by Hartley’s Certified Accountants) – T Lander.

Bottle of Baileys (donated by Mr M Robertson) –
J & J Edwards.

Bottle of Cognac (donated by Mr & Mrs Jones) –
L Western.

Tin of chocolates (donated by Mr & Mrs Harwood) –
E Sercombe.

Tin of biscuits (donated by Mr & Mrs Harwood) – L Burch.

Subway Voucher (donated by Subway of Sidwell St) –
P Martin.

Subway Vouchers (donated by Subway of Sidwell St) –
A Sanderson.

NOW TV Stick with 2 months Sky Cinema (donated by Mr & Mrs Saunders) – K Edwards.

4 ball golf at East Devon Golf Club – Voucher (Mr & Mrs Burch) – R Saggers.

14 Secret Santa prizes (all sauced by Mr M Robertson) –
A Brown; B Burch; G Preston; C Grattan; P Shoyer; Z Grattan; J Brock; E Osborne; P Williams; D Nobles; J Boyce; C Spokes; G Tancock; H Burch.


Level Playing Field "weeks of action" 2019 includes Accessibility booklet launch. 


Exeter City Football Club; Disabled Supporters Association; Supporters Trust; One Game One Community Group and the Community Trust fully supports Level Playing Field’s ‘weeks of action’ campaign.

This year’s ‘weeks of action’ runs from March 2nd to March 17th. You can join Level Playing Field for their 2019 Weeks of Action @ #OurMatchday @lpftweets or www.facebook.com/lpftweets

The DSA showed their support by launching the clubs new Accessibility booklet that includes all the clubs Disability Policies and the clubs Facilities/Accessible information and was put together by Nick Saunders (ECFC DLO/DSA Chair) and Scott Palfrey (ECFC Marketing) and this was kindly paid for by the Disabled Supporters Association. Nick Saunders (DSA Chair) and David Jones (DSA Vice-chair) were joined by Nicky Baker from Level Playing Field at the Tranmere Rovers match on 2nd March to undertake the launch.

Level Playing Field believes as everyone here at Exeter City does that fans are an important part of the game. By getting involved and by promoting access and inclusion we’re helping by making a big difference to supporters with disabilities everywhere enjoy their match day and the beautiful game that is football.

Football, as the nation’s favourite game has a key leadership role in promoting access, tackling discrimination and ensuring everyone has the opportunity and ability, to enjoy the game. It makes good sense to provide an inclusive environment with the clubs continued working partnership with the Disabled Supporters Association and the One game, one community group as they do great work in ensuring that supporters with disabilities can have an enjoyable match day experience and ’a voice to be heard’ at the club. For details of what the Exeter City Disabled Supporters Association do or to join them as members (membership is open to all). Please visit their website @ http://ecfcdsa.co.uk/ or find them on Facebook.

It has been exciting times for our football club as redevelopment of the two new stands have finished and are now fully open. Working with the DSA and with their great ideas we’ve improved further our facilities for those with disabilities which include more accessible wheelchair areas and spaces for home and away fans and a fully equipped changing places room. Ask the club for more information.

We’re still leading the way with our Policy on Assistance Dogs, as a great deal of football clubs still don’t have this sort of policy and we encourage all clubs to really consider having one as it helps greatly with staff training and understanding how many different types of assistant dogs there are.

For more details on the clubs facilities and football training for those with disabilities through the Exeter City Community Trust please visit the following websites @ https://www.exetercityfc.co.uk/tickets/disabled-ticket-information/ https://www.exetercitycommunitytrust.co.uk/

or email: disability@exetercityfc.co.uk


Most Improved Player of the Year 2018/19

The winner of the ECDSA “Most Improved Player of the Year” 2018/19 as voted for by our members is:

😀😀😀 MATT JAY 😀😀😀

Congratulations from everyone here at ECDSA, the award is well deserved.

The award was presented to Matt by our award sponsor Steve Gazzard and his guest, thanks again Steve for sponsoring the award on behalf of us all.


ECDSA 2018/19 season summary

Exeter City Disabled Supporters Association – Summary 2019

A warm welcome was given to all for attending the 12th Annual General Meeting of the Exeter City Disabled Supporters Association and the following was a summary of the past season, which was a very busy one indeed.

  • Ambassador: We are still looking to appoint a new ambassador after former England Premier League & FIFA Assistant Referee MM sadly stand down after last year’s AGM, understandable due to work commitments. We hope to appoint a new ambassador sometime this season.
  • President: LH continued as our President for a third season and we had the pleasure in sponsoring Lee’s training kit. Thank you, Lee for your fantastic support and being the President of our association.
  • Windbreaker board / Dugout issue: We still have our board at the front of area 2 in the Main Stand. However, as stated at last year’s AGM the dugouts where put in front of the Main Stand which made visibility of the game for users of accessible areas 2 and 3 very difficult. The positioning of the dugouts severely restricted the view of one half of the pitch and made it impossible to enjoy the match. With redevelopments complete these two areas are now unavailable on match days as the club have stopped selling tickets for these areas on my advice as the clubs Disability Liaison Officer. Until a suitable new home can be found for the board, the board will stay where it is at no cost to our DSA.
  • Match day accessible parking: As stated at last year’s AGM due to redevelopments the club only have 3 accessible parking places which in turn meant we suspended the waiting list we held on behalf of the football club. We continue to work with the football club to ensure we get lost spaces back but there is limited space around the club and the surrounding roads are resident parking only.
  • Level Playing Field membership: They’ve restructured themselves and we made a small donation in way of membership as this ensured we get any legal advice and support if needed on any accessible issues that may crop up which we can’t deal with ourselves.
  • Bucket collection: The football club again kindly gave us the opportunity to have a bucket collection which this time was on Sat 1st September when we played Lincoln City. A big thank you to all our bucket collectors for giving up their half-time.
  • ECFC Accessibility booklet: A new accessibility booklet has been put together by myself and SP (ECFC Marketing) which includes a breakdown of the Accessible facilities the club has plus the Disability and Assistance dogs Policies. We paid to have 150 copies printed and copies are available from the club shop and all committee members have a copy. Myself and DJ (DSA Vice-chair) were joined by NB from Level Playing Field at the Tranmere Rovers match on 2nd March to undertake a launch of the new booklet, which coincided with Level Playing Fields ‘weeks of action’ campaign 2019.
  • Re-development: A massive thanks must be given to our representatives, namely JJ and DJ which includes myself for all their time given and ensuring all of our access concerns were met by the football club which I believe have been plus with our input, this I know did save the club some money which was directed to other areas. A thank you also to JQ (club’s General Manager) for taking onboard all our concerns and his understanding of the needs of those with disabilities. The club now have 41 (57 if needed) wheelchair spaces for home supporters, up from 34 spaces; 8 wheelchair spaces for away supporters, up from 3 spaces. A Changing places room equipped with a height-adjustable table, portable hoist and privacy screen all provided and paid for by our DSA. Easy access to the new stand from the Stadium Way accessible entrance and new perimeter walkway to the new stand, avoiding the large slope in St James Road to the back of the stand in Well Street.
  • End of seat hand rails: To help with accessibility and safety, both the IP Office Stand and the new Stagecoach Adam Stansfield Stand have been fitted with new and improved end of seat hand rails, this followed a successful trial in the IP Office stand last season. Installation of hand rails to all of the IP Office stand was made possible by donations from supporter groups including ourselves.
  • Christmas draw: Draw took place on 12th December here at the Park and was attended by City player & ECDSA President – LH, together with RL from Exeter Nissan who helped to draw the lucky winning tickets. All in all, there were 31 prizes up for grabs and we must thank all those who so kindly donated prizes: Exeter Nissan, GreenMyBusiness, Signs Express, Mi Space, Subway of Sidwell Street, Mr Herniman, Hartley’s Certified Accountants, Exeter City FC, Exeter City Director ED and all our committee members. A big thank you to everyone who sold and purchased tickets and a special mention and thank you to committee member MR who gave a great deal of his time to sell over £1,400 worth of draw tickets plus donated 14 secret Santa prizes.
  • Safety Netting: This was brought up at our last AGM. With JQ help, safety netting was put up on the front of the front wheelchair areas in the Big Bank Stand. There nets were put up while the players were taking shooting practice and taken down for the start of kick off.
  • Portable Induction Loop: This was the first item we bought the football club back in 2007 and the system was not charging properly, so it was decided that we would buy the club a new unit which we hope last as long as the old one did. Amount again to come in our Treasures report.
  • Most Improved Player award 2018/19: Members were asked again to vote for their ‘Most improved player of the year’ and this year’s winner was MJ. The trophy was presented to MJ on our behalf by our trophy sponsor SG at the club’s end of season ball.

We continued our ties with other supporter groups namely: ‘One game, one community’ group; East Devon Grecians who continued their support with our group by continuing their membership with us. Also, the Supporters Trust and the Football Club. Our hope and wish for many years for our membership to reach the 100 mark has finally been archived and this is thanks to the hard work of our appointed Membership Recruitment Officer. We are proud to announce that we finished last season with 142 members which is absolutely fantastic. The hard work has already started to build on this and can only happen with a hard-working committee who are dedicated and active. I feel we’re very lucky that this has always been the case and without this dedicated we wouldn’t be as successful as we are today.

Our association is fully supportive of the South West Disabled Fans’ Experience Forum as founder members with last year’s forum taking place at Bristol Rovers, which I chaired. RK the club’s Supporter’s Liaison Officer was also in attendance. Last year’s forum was again a great success and the great news is that this seasons forum is to be held in October ‘Coming Home’ as it will be held here at Exeter City as the first forum was held here back in 2011.

I would like to finish by thanking our committee for all their hard work and time given for the benefit of our members and Exeter City over the past season. Our partners, Exeter Nissan; GreenMyBusiness and Signs Express for their support. LH for his fantastic support of our association and to all our members (new and old) for their great support and to Exeter City Football Club for allowing us to use their facilities, again for free for our meetings and finally to you all for attending this year’s AGM.

Nick Saunders,  Chairman.               30th July, 2019

Giving supporters with disabilities of Exeter City Football Club 'a voice to be heard'