'Meeting Ings helped instil a drive in me'

27 Nov 2016
PL/BT Disability Sport Programme: Burnley, Joe Skinner, Danny Ings

How a former player and the work of Burnley in the Community has helped one volunteer become an inspiration

Related Articles
Community: inspiring disabled people through sport External Link
Celebrating Inclusion Day at Burnley FC External Link
Premier League/BT Disability Fund

"I finally feel like my dream of becoming a football manager could actually come true."

A memorable moment at an end-of-season Burnley match in 2013 helped Joe Skinner turn his life around.

Burnley fan Joe, who has cerebral palsy, was at the match against Ipswich Town when former striker Danny Ings came over to say hello.

That meeting had a significant impact on Joe, who helped Ings create the Burnley FC in the Community disability project and is now is a successful volunteer coach at Turf Moor.

Subtitles version | Audio description version

"I thought, we need to be recognised a bit more by people in general," Joe said. "He helped instil a drive into me.

"To make a difference to disabled peoples' lives and to be seen as accepted within society, it makes me feel like I am part of something."

Joe's story has been filmed for the latest BT Sport film that showcases the new Premier League/BT Disability Sport Programme.

As part of the film, first-team players Aidan O'Neill and Patrick Bamford went to see Joe coach at a Burnley FC in the Community disability session and were impressed with what they saw.

"I have never seen so many people so happy all in one place, it's refreshing to see," Bamford said.

PL/BT Disability Sport Programme: Burnley, Joe Skinner
Joe Skinner has been a part of Burnley FC in the Community's disability sport provision since it started two and a half years ago

Initially founded and part-funded by Ings, the Danny Ings Disability Sport Project was developed with the specific aim to engage and empower members of the communities surrounding Turf Moor who have a disability.

The project now engages with up to 800 disabled people every week and the PL/BT Disability Sport Programme will allow Burnley FC in the Community to triple their current disability sport provision.

Burnley's disability work was celebrated at their Inclusion Day during the Premier League match against Manchester City on Saturday. The event highlighted the club's work with disabled fans as well as support for Stonewall's Rainbow Laces campaign.

To find out more about disability sport at Burnley FC in the Community, contact Matt Pounder at or call 01282 704716.

See: Celebrating Inclusion Day at Burnley FC | Community: inspiring disabled people through sport

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