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Fans group play it safe

21 April 2015

WUP contribution funds new stretcher

Physio Stuart Douglas says that AFC Wimbledon are lucky to have fans willing to help out for vital causes after the Womble Underground Press (WUP) made a generous donation for the purchase of a new stretcher.

Funds raised through sales of the WUP fanzine allowed the club’s medical department to replace the old stretcher with a more up to date one and this was used for the first time recently when Deji Oshilaja had to be stretchered off against Oxford United.

Stuart, who is pictured left with Dean Parsons, said: “You cannot go for half measures with medical equipment and this is vitally important. I am very thankful and appreciative to the Womble Underground Press for their contribution.

“These stretchers are not cheap pieces of equipment and I am grateful that they were able to find the funds out of their budget. The first day that we used it was when Deji got stretchered off and it helped to get him off the pitch safely. We have players like Bayo Akinfenwa and we have to ensure that we have the safest possible equipment for all eventualities.

“Regardless of whether it is Premier League or League 2, medical equipment has to be at the highest level possible. It is quite refreshing to be at a fans club because the supporters care so much. We are very fortunate here. At other clubs with one benefactor things can go downhill if he or she gets bored and decides to stop putting money in. This club is run very well and it has fans willing to help out for important projects.”

Dean Parsons, speaking on behalf of WUP, added: “It is a big team who all make contributions to the production of the fanzine. It is put together by the fans and paid for by the fans. If someone approaches us and we think it is a good project then we will do our best to help out.

“The new stretcher allows players to be scooped onto it, rather than having to lift them on with no protection underneath. It is a way of getting the players off the pitch more safely. You do not want to see any player get injured and it was tense when Deji had to be stretchered off. However, it was good to see that our funds were put to good use and that Deji made a full recovery.

“Funds raised by the fanzine have gone towards a lot of things over the years, including Haydon the Womble. Earlier this season we made a contribution so that the supporters’ coach for Hartlepool would be able to run and we are planning to help out with another project soon.”

The WUP fanzine is published throughout the season and fans can buy it at the final home game of 2014/15 against Cheltenham Town.

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