Fans’ group is 10 years old

A DISABLED football fans’ group is inviting people to its 10th birthday party.

Hartlepool United Disabled Supporters’ Association (HUDSA) will host the celebration from 6.30pm on Friday, November 25.

The event, which will be held at Hartlepool Workingmen’s Club, in King Oswy Drive, will feature music from The Hobbies, a disco and a buffet.

The party tops off a year of celebrations which have included a sportsman’s dinner held in April, which featured Pools legends Joe Allon and “Big Bad” Bob Newton.

The group also held a race night in August and a sponsored walk around Hartlepool last month.

HUDSA chairman Neil Appleyard said: “We are celebrating a decade of being in existence.

“The actual birthday party is going to be a very exciting time for everybody.

“We are hoping to get our friends from Darlington Football Club’s disabled group and Newcastle United’s disabled group to come along.”

Mr Appleyard added: “The year has been very good and we move on from our 10th anniversary and look forward to ensuing anniversaries. “I’m just very pleased we are still going after 10 years – when we first started in 2001 who would have thought we would have achieved what we have done in that length of time.

“It’s absolutely amazing, we have gone from nothing to having our own minibus, caravan for short breaks and offices.”

HUDSA now has more than 100 members, which Mr Appleyard says is a significant proportion of Pools’ average home crowds.

The group held its first meetings at Mr Appleyard’s home on the Brooke Estate.

Over the years it has grown and now puts on a weekly disco at The Woodcutter pub, in Kingsley Avenue, for people with learning and physical difficulties, as well as providing short breaks at HUDSA’s caravan at Primrose Valley, near Scarborough.

Tickets for the birthday party are £5 and available from the HUDSA office, at the Centre for Independent Living in Havelock Street, Hartlepool, or from HUDSA committee members.