Tuktuk Day 112

Brentford FC Logo

Yesterday we were at Brentford FC looking at their work in the community. As I said, I have always been impressed with how focused they are on remaining true to their roots. So, today we are staying here another day to learn about another exciting initiative. I will let Nikita Rathod, Brentford’s Communication Manager explain.

Brentford FC matchday audio commentary makes football accessible for visually impaired fans

The club releases immersive video featuring Andy Godfrey, a visually impaired Brentford FC fan who attends home matches with audio commentary as a part of Thousands of Stories

A new, immersive video from Brentford FC shares the story of Andy Godfrey, a visually impaired Brentford supporter that uses the club’s audio commentary to experience matches live at the Gtech Community Stadium.

The Sound is the final video in the second series of Thousands of Stories, a collection of short films sharing the stories of Brentford’s community. The club’s fans have been the focus of series two.

The film shares the story of Andy, who was born blind and tells us what it’s like to experience a live football match as a visually impaired person.

The film, best watched using headphone, uses sounds recorded from a Premier League matchday at Brentford to create an immersive audio experience. The video is an opportunity for viewers to discover what a matchday is like for blind or partially sighted football fans.

In The Sound, Andy explains he came to Brentford to teach French and German at a local school and was approached by a colleague who suggested that Andy should try Brentford’s matchday audio commentary.

“One of the teachers said to me, “they have excellent commentary at Brentford, would you like to try that?” And I came to the club and it was everything that I could dream a football could be” said Andy.

Andy received that advice more than 50 years ago and he’s been a Brentford fan ever since.

He says, “It’s just unbelievable, that feeling of going to Brentford. I don’t miss many home games. On a matchday, I can’t think about anything else really, it’s just Brentford all the way through. I get the shakes sometimes!”

In the video, Andy elaborates on what his unique matchday experience is like, including the build-up to kick-off.

“I’ve listened to the excited shouts of the Brentford fans. I listen to them predicting a win. People are excited. There are excited conversations all around me.”

“The atmosphere is electric. You can hear the shouts of the players, the cries of the crowd. People are getting nervous, you do sense that”.

Andy’s matchday experience wouldn’t be what it is today without his access to live matchday audio commentary, broadcast by Brentford Fc in-house at the Gtech Community Stadium.

The club’s long-serving matchday commentator, Mark Burridge, is the voice behind the microphone that Andy relies on to follow the match as it happens right in front of him when he’s sat in the stadium.

“Having a commentary really enhances the whole experience of going to Brentford. When I was growing up, all the blind spectators had to sit together. In those days, you had the plug your headphones into a console.”

“Now we have wireless headphones with are absolutely super because you can sit anywhere you like with your friends. The best thing about it is the commentator keeps up with play, never misses a shot or a kick and describes everything”.

“It means the world to me, it really does”.

Wireless audio commentary at Brentford is one of the many ways that the club is making football accessible for all. To help blind fans enjoy the matchday experience at the Gtech Community Stadium, fans can bring along a carer, free of charge. Andy discussed why these initiatives are so important to him.

“Obviously not all blind people like football, but loads do. I just wish more people would come to the ground.”

“I think the more people you can get into football, the better it is. If there was no commentary at Brentford, I wouldn’t go.”

“I think football is a great introducer to other people and other walks of life. The impact of football on my life is immense. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for the kindness I’ve received at Brentford.”

About Thousands of Stories

Thousands of Stories is a film series from Brentford FC that highlights the club’s community.

Following the success of the inaugural series, the series two of Thousands of Stories consists of four films which delve into the experiences of our fans, what supporting the Bees means to them and how the club has impacted their lives.

Accompanying The Sound in this series are:

  • The Moment – the story of Raymond Harrison, a lifelong Bees supporter who experienced a cardiac arrest at Gtech Community Stadium before our fixture against Newcastle last season
  • The Dream – the story of Connor Wolfheimer, a Brentford fan who came through Brentford FC Community Sports Trust’s football programme and is currently on a two-year scholarship playing for Brentford’s Under-18s
  • The Local – the story of Claire Peleschka, the landlady of The Griffin, one of the four pubs surrounding Brentford’s previous stadium, Griffin Park

So far, the series has attracted more than 1.4m views across social media.

Speaking about the return of the series, Sally Stephens, Brentford’s fan and community relations director, said: “Thousands of Stories shines a spotlight on some of the incredible individuals who make up our vibrant community. We’re fortunate to have such fantastic fans.”

“The films share how being a Brentford fan is about much more than football. Being a Bees fan means being part of a trusted community, supporting each other and showing togetherness during the good times but also through adversity.”

“We look forward to continuing to celebrate the stories that make our club so special.”

You can download The Sound video in 16×9 or 1×1, and video stills to use in your piece using this WeTransfer link.

The Sound is available on all of Brentford social media channels.

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More information on Thousands of Stories, including all other films from this series and last year can be found on the club’s website.


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