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Second Disabled Everton Fan, Chris Howgate, 22, Left Traumatised After Verbal Abuse At Man City Match

January 30, 2016

A disabled Everton fan said he was left traumatised after fans verbally abused him at the match.

Chris Howgate, 22, who has Down’s Syndrome and needs the use of a wheelchair, was at the Capital One Cup semi-final with his full-time carer and dad, Dean, 43.

The avid Blues fans left early to “avoid trouble” but, as they reached outside, they said they were met with shouts of “Scouse b*****d” and had to turn back.

Dean told the ECHO: “I could hear the calls from behind, as we approached the exit.

“I realised we were surrounded by Man City fans, all shouting and falling over Chris – only one person apologised.”

Security staff held them in a separate section and told the men to turn their backs to hide their Everton scarves.

Waiting for the pandemonium to calm down, they spoke to several members of City staff and were escorted out to the sound of jeers, with police horses clearing the way.

Dean said: “It was really scary for Chris, he has tunnel vision so it seemed like everyone was around him – luckily he couldn’t see behind.

“I was fearful that they would try it with me – I didn’t know where to run.”

Told to get into coaches as quickly as possible, Chris was in floods of tears on their way back to their home in Tranmere .

Chris, who “has been everywhere with Everton”, was left distraught and told his dad that he never wants to go back to City’s ground, the Etihad.

Dean said: “He’s the type of boy who watches his shirts in the tumble-dryer, waiting to put it on.

“It will take a bit for him to overcome what happened – hopefully he will want to go to Goodison on Wednesday.”

Chris is well-known by Goodison fans and the club, with the stadium and official coaches catering for his disabilities.

Dean said the trouble at the game was worse than in Lyon, where Blues fans were caught up in trouble last year.

He said: “We were at Lyon and that was scary but not as scary as Wednesday night.

“We didn’t antagonise and the atmosphere was threatening.

“There was no compassion whatsoever.”

This follows further reports that another disabled Everton fan, eight-year-old James Ireland , was told by fans that he ‘should have been drowned at birth’.

Manchester City were approached for comment.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 30, 2016 10:49 am

    Reblogged this on campertess and commented:
    Why does football & who you support bring out the worst in people?

    • Florence permalink
      January 30, 2016 11:23 am

      This is more than just footie, it’s disability hate crime.

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