WE all know about fans supporting their favourite football team – but East Fife FC has a heart-warming example of the club supporting one of its fans.
Blind-registered Billy Horsburgh, a lifelong Fifers’ follower, is now able to keep up with all the action at home games – thanks to commentary by another committed Bayview regular, Matthew McLean.
Rex Blind Parties, a charity specialising football narration for blind people, along with directors and staff at East Fife FC, joined forces to help Billy (29), with Matthew stepping forward after the club acquired the necessary audio equipment and appealed for a volunteer commentator.
Their debut ‘team effort’ was last month’s 1-0 win for the Fifers against Stirling Albion, and Billy, of Anstruther, said he was deeply grateful to everyone concerned.
He added that, for the first time in 10 years, he felt he had been at a game properly and could focus fully on it.
The ex-Waid Academy pupil, who is doing an Open University course in fiction writing, began losing his sight in his mid-teens and admitted lately it had been a big struggle to follow the action when he went to Bayview with his dad, Wullie.
Matthew McLean (27), a radio production student, said it was good experience personally to be involved and he was glad to help a fellow East Fife fan.
“The first game was pretty challenging, as I’d never done any commentary before,” he said. “But once you get into the flow of it, it’s quite enjoyable, and good to know somebody is getting something out of it.”
Fifers’ director Eugene Clarke said: “It was a good team effort and we were happy to help a supporter.”