Season ticket ban for toddler Freddie

Disappointed: Three-year-old Freddie Dale has been denied a season ticket by Barnsley Football Club - because of his age.
Disappointed: Three-year-old Freddie Dale has been denied a season ticket by Barnsley Football Club - because of his age.
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BABY-faced footie fan Freddie Dale is one of Barnsley FC’s most loyal followers - but has been denied a season ticket for being too young.

Football-mad Freddie, aged three, and his family are all big supporters, travelling to games week in, week out.

Dad Jason, 41, mum Sharon, 42, and Freddie’s big sister Alexandra, eight, are all season ticket holders at Oakwell.

But officials say Freddie is too young for a season ticket.

Club bosses admit they ‘do not encourage under fives to attend’ on health and safety grounds.

Today Jason, a self-employed engineer who has held a season ticket since 1995, said: “I find it unbelievable.

“Freddie goes to soccer club every weekend, and it’s all he wants to do - play with a football. One of his first babygrows was a Barnsley FC kit.

“The club are using health and safety legislation to say that if the ground is full, and there’s an emergency alert, they couldn’t be responsible.

“I don’t know where they’re sitting but it’s not been full since we were in the Premier League.

“I’ve been a loyal fan for years but the club don’t seem to be interested in their fans.”

He said in the past the club did allow children under the age of five to have season tickets.

The club has won a family excellence award from the Football League and was shortlisted for Family Club of the Year 2012.

But Jason, from South Elmsall, near Doncaster, said: “It’s no good them saying they’re a family club when they’re discouraging youngsters from going.

“They say they’re making a stand on it this year, so won’t be offering any new season tickets for young fans under five.

“Adults get a free season ticket for under 11s but I even offered to pay for a season ticket for Freddie, but they said no.”

The club’s director, Don Rowing, said: “We do not encourage children under five to come to games. It’s a health and safety issue so we’re not offering them season tickets.

“To have young children where there are balls flying about, it’s not safe.

“There has to be a cut-off point.”