Newcastle arrange special surprise for young fan with autism

2 Apr 2024

Watch as Newcastle pair meet 13-year-old fan after reading his inspirational letter

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For children with sensory-processing issues, such as 13-year-old Tyler, the sights, sounds and crowds they encounter on a matchday can be overwhelming, making it difficult for them and their families to enjoy matches.

On World Autism Awareness Day, Tyler, who had autism diagnosed when he was seven, wrote a letter to his beloved Newcastle United, explaining how their sensory room at St James' Park has freed him to go support his favourite club more than ever before.

“Having autism, I struggle with loud noises and crowds," Tyler writes. “With autism I can become obsessed with different things and my obsession is football.

“In 2019, I had my first tip to the sensory room at St James’ Park. Since then it has been the best experience of my life.

“The glass makes it quieter but I can still feel the atmosphere. The room is warm, calm and I feel safe. No one judges in the sensory room, I can just be myself.

“I just love it. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be. I am football and Newcastle United for life.

“Thank you for everything. Tyler.”

Moved by Tyler’s letter, first-team stars Anthony Gordon and Bruno Guimaraes helped to organise a special surprise for him, which included a behind-the-scenes tour of Newcastle’s stadium.

But, on top of that, Tyler was then surprised by the two players in the sensory room, where he was given a signed shirt and a flag bearing an image of himself in the crowd, which he took to his seat in the famous Gallowgate End.

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