Tuesday, 10 November 2015

'We Are United: The Story of MUDSA' - a documentary commissioned to celebrate the organisation's 25th anniversary

Issued by MUDSA

Press release - New book and documentary film launched 

MUDSA is the oldest disabled supporters association in the world and is 25 years old this year. 

We have celebrated by putting together a MUDSA 25th anniversary book, which is enclosed, charting our achievements and ongoing ambitions. 

The book looks back to why and how MUDSA was formed including, of course, the vital role played by Phil Downs MBE. It illustrates how we have worked with the club - during a period of massive expansion at Old Trafford - to ensure improved facilities for disabled fans. It shows how disabled fans have democratically decided that they prefer in the main to be seated next to one another at Old Trafford. 

The book fondly remembers the marvellous trips abroad to European Cup finals, particularly Barcelona in 1999 and Moscow in 2008. The launch of the Ability Suite in 2003 is celebrated and for those that don’t know we issued a 10th anniversary book on this in 2013 and it remains available online at http://www.mudsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/abilitysuite10.pdf

There is a marvellous selection of photographs new and old - many thanks to Julie and Jackie Hall in particular on this - and the book is packed with interviews with members, some of whom are sadly no longer with us. The book also includes interviews with former Manchester United  captains Gary Neville and Steve Bruce and they demonstrate a mutual respect and genuine friendship. Finally, the book highlights how important MUDSA is in the lives of many disabled fans. 

MUDSA would like to author Mark Metcalf, photographer Mark Harvey and designer Jamie Leeming for making this book possible.   

'We Are United: The Story of MUDSA' - a documentary commissioned to celebrate the organisation's 25th anniversary - premieres on Manchester United TV Channel MUTV on Thursday next week (November 12).

Produced and directed by independent filmmaker John Gubba, the one hour special tells the story of Mudsa through the eyes of its inspirational leader Phil Downs MBE and a strong supporting cast including Chas Banks, Stephanie Bisceglia, Kevin Peek and eight years-old Alex Nield.

Said Gubba: "I have cried more than once filming and watching some gut-wrenching scenes. We took Phil Downs back to the gymnasium at Hendon Police Training Academy where he broke his neck as an 18-year-old in the mid seventies. It was the first time Phil had been back in that room. 

"When young Alex Nield was born with cerebral palsy, his parents were told he would never walk or talk. Watching him learn to walk has been another emotional experience. In this film I have focused on the incredible abilities and achievements of a remarkable group of characters. And I hope that viewers will have a better understanding of what Mudsa is all about by sharing their stories."

Sir Alex Ferguson, whose PA Lyn Laffin helped get Mudsa started back in 1989, contributes some fascinating insights and talks passionately about the achievements of the organisation. There are also appearances by Wayne Rooney, David de Gea, Juan Mata, Bryan Robson, Martin Buchan and David Gill. 

Further information from Mark Metcalf on 07952 801783 and markcmetcalf@me.com
Further information from John Gubba on 07802 482602 and john@vsitv.net 

Please contact MUDSA on 0161 868 8552 to discuss the book and/or documentary film.
MUDSA is happy to facilitate visits by journalists and political representatives to Old Trafford to view the facilities for disabled fans. 

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