Chris Winston handed Hawthorns honour in fans' initiative
ALBION’s Fans’ Champion for Saturday’s Premier League clash against West Ham United will be – Chris Winston.
Chris will be given the honour of signalling the countdown to kick-off against the Hammers by stepping on to the hallowed Hawthorns turf and delivering the matchball to the plinth.
He follows in the footsteps of Blind Dave Heeley, who was our first Fans’ Champion for the Club's opening home match of the season against Everton.
Chris has overcome the devastating loss of 80% of his sight to pick himself up and forge a new career as a Disability Coach at The Albion Foundation.
Chris was like any other 21-year-old who loved his football - went to watch the Baggies home and away, played at a decent standard - that was until the day he sat watching England play Brazil in 2013 and by the end of the game he had lost the majority of his eyesight.
He got involved playing PAN football, took part in the Foundation’s Tri-Albion Challenge - where he cycled 180 miles and walked to 120 schools - and then started volunteering at the Foundation before being employed by the charity.
He still follows the Baggies and plays for the Club’s Blind team while also holding ambitions of playing for England.
Chris’ story was highlighted last season on Match of the Day as he led a disability team-building day with all of the Club’s players and then shared his moving journey with them.
Chris’ positivity, enthusiasm and determination to overcome this setback is inspiring and he is a worthy Fans’ Champion for Saturday’s game (ko 3pm).
We want to hear from you if you think there is someone you feel deserves the honour.
Perhaps it is a friend or a family member who has shown incredible devotion to the cause? Perhaps it is a supporter who, like Blind Dave or Chris, combines passion for the Baggies with a big heart for their community?
Send your nomination to The Albion Foundation, Ford Street, Smethwick B67 7QY or email firstname.lastname@example.org.