21/01/2015 06:52 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Manchester United Refuse Entry To Wheelchair-Bound Teenager On His Birthday


A disabled football fan was banned from a Manchester United match after travelling 530 miles to watch his heroes for a 14th birthday treat.

Tyler Short, who is autistic and uses a wheelchair, and his dad Chris made the trip from Bideford in Devon. But when they arrived at Old Trafford for United's game against Southampton they were refused entry because of Tyler's wheelchair.

Their tickets were then taken off them in a mix-up over the names on the stubs so they had to wait outside until the match finished so they could take their supporters' club coach back home.

The fiasco happened after Chris bought the tickets through the North Devon branch of the Supporters Club and travelled on their coach.

But the seats were on different rows and would have meant he could not sit next to his son.

To allow them to sit side by side, Chris was given another supporter's ticket on the coach while Tyler retained his original.

Tyler's ticket was in the name of his older brother, Callum 18, who is also a Manchester United member.

And the confusion over the names printed on the two tickets led to them being confiscated by United officials.

Chris told the Manchester Evening News: "I said to them 'I have come 300 miles. Look at the state of my son, he is crying his eyes out.

"It was his birthday the previous Thursday and he was so excited, but it turned into a disaster."

A Manchester United spokesman said: "Season tickets are transferable to family members but individual match tickets are not.

"Fundamentally, the supporter should have informed us of his son's wheelchair needs prior to the game so that suitable seating could be found.

"The seating area allocated is unlikely to have been suitable and we do not have the capacity on a matchday to make disability assessments.

"The game was a sell out and so we could not re-house them even if they had not swapped tickets on the coach.

"Membership tickets are not transferable and he should not have swapped the ticket.

"If he contacts us again, we will ensure he gets the right seats."

The Supporters Club reimbursed the dad for the cost of the two £50 tickets and the coach travel.