Introducing the BRFC Disabled Supporters Association

The BRFC Disabled Supporters Association started seven years ago and made some significant achievements quickly, with a roof installed over the wheelchair sections on the East Terrace. 

The issue both the DSA and the Club faced is that the Memorial Stadium is an old ground, designed for rugby fans who preferred to stand. Whilst it seems easy to create accessible solutions, the vast amount of building regulations and stadium standards mean there are very few areas accessibility solutions can be placed. 

An FA Cup tie with Rochdale two years ago highlighted accessibility issues at the Memorial Stadium, when a closed West Stand meant its step-free accessible seating was not available. Since then Clive Marshall (Chair DSA) and Ian Sams (Secretary DSA) have engaged positively with the Club to ensure the best use of facilities for all supporters. An example of this was the barrier in front of the wheelchair bays on the East Terrace was reduced to the legal minimum to improve sightlines for chair users.


Through improved understanding of the issues faced by wheelchair users, ambulatory disabled and those with other needs, the positive ongoing dialogue has allowed the Club to make decisions in the best interest of all supporters with a full understanding of the various Acts of Parliament and guidance for sports stadia. 

Working closely with the Club, the BRFC DSA are proud to have:

  1. Working together on the design and implementation of the South Stand.
  2. Ensuring accessibility parking bays remain available only for fans who had their accessibility needs assessed and have therefore been allocated a space. 
  3. Implementing stadium access changes, allowing early access where accessible needs have been accessed to avoid crowds at turnstiles, as well as shelter from inclement weather.
  4. Providing an increased number of accessible toilets, all with National Key Scheme locks.
  5. Lower serving spaces in kiosks.
  6. The Club identifying a need for more parking spaces for blue badge holders.

Clive Marshall, Chair of the BRFC Disabled Supporters Association, is looking forward to even more positive dialogue the Club going forward, adding: "As a result of our positive engagement, the Club felt able to contact us to express concerns that the area we had both agreed for wheelchair users in the new South Stand was not appropriate.

"Whilst on paper in the planning phase it appeared fine, due to overcoming specific issues in the build phase we agreed with the Club’s view that the wheelchair spaces area needed to be changed.

"On a walkaround at the Memorial Stadium, an alternative area was identified by us and will provide far more space for wheelchairs and their companions with a better view and better comfort in wet weather. This will, in turn, increase step-free seating for ambulatory disabled supporters in the South Stand.

“None of the changes to make the Stadium more accessible could have been achieved without the wholehearted and financial support from the AlSaeed family, Wael Al Qadi and the BRFC Supporters Club. In addition, the Club’s ownership has assured the DSA that they will be consulted in the planning stage of any further new Stands."

The DSA is now also now fully engaged with the national Level Playing Field (LPF) organisation. Saturday’s fixture with Derby County is the Clubs’ contribution to the LPF’s Access For All campaign (Unite for Access 2024).  

Tom Gorringe, Bristol Rovers CEO, said: “Both the Club and DSA are proud to announce the creation of the first permanent bespoke platform for wheelchair users at the Mem. The platform (shown below) which will soon be in place, will seat 28, where wheelchair users and their carers or companions can sit together.


 “I would like to thank the DSA for all their continued work in this area and we look forward to progressing our partnership as we improve the facilities at The Mem.”

Queries relating to accessible tickets should be sent to

Individual questions relating to access and the Disabled Supporters Association should be sent to

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