It’s been an exciting year for 14 year old Reading Football Club fan Ryan Duval. It all started when players Jem Karacan, Simon Cox and Anton Ferdinand visited Ryan’s school – The Avenue School Special Needs Academy in Tilehurst – to see some of the work pupils had done at the end of last year.
Headteacher Dame Sue Bourne worked in partnership with the club to set up a special community project, dubbed #RyansRoyals, which saw Ryan design his own version of the Reading kit using the school’s colours and elm trees, which formerly made up the Royals’ club crest.
On Saturday 11th April, Reading FC, in their special one-off shirts, were proudly led onto the pitch by Ryan, ready for their game against Blackburn Rovers.
Ryan suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy and has relied upon the use of an electric wheelchair for a number of years, making it hard to attend many Reading matches. This prompted Dame Sue Bourne to get in contact with Gowrings Mobility to discuss the options available to Ryan and the School.
Continuing with the community project, Reading captain Jem Karacan and his team helped raise enough funds to buy The Avenue School their very own Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle – a VW Caddy – in none other than ‘Royals’ blue of course!
On 15th December, an excited Ryan helped to unveil the School’s new WAV, which sports Avenue School and Reading FC graphics. The WAV will make travel for some of the school’s pupils much easier, and also make it possible for Ryan to attend many more Reading FC matches.
We are looking forward to the official unveiling of the Gowrings Mobility Caddy, which will take place on 23rd January at Reading’s Madejski Stadium.