Congratulations to Chas Banks, MBE — a beacon of dedication and service!

As the Manchester United Disabled Supporters’ Association (MUDSA) Committee, it is with immense pride and joy that we extend our heartfelt congratulations to our esteemed Secretary, Chas Banks, on being honoured with the prestigious MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire). This recognition, awarded by The Prince of Wales at Windsor, is a testament to Chas’s unwavering commitment and invaluable contributions to the disabled community.

Chas’s journey with MUDSA spans over two decades, marked by his significant impact in various capacities. His tenure as a Committee Member began in 1997, a role he embraced shortly after organising MUDSA’s very first social event—a celebrity quiz night. Chas’s expertise in event management, honed through experiences such as being the stage manager for Cannon and Ball and managing groups like Teenage Fanclub and Pixies, has been instrumental in the success of MUDSA’s events.

A trailblazer in advocacy for disabled fans, Chas has been pivotal in organising 24 consecutive MUDSA annual dinners since 1998, events graced by notable figures like Sir Alex Ferguson. His efforts in facilitating trips for disabled fans to attend four European finals stand as a remarkable achievement, ensuring inclusivity and accessibility in football fandom. These trips included a record-setting journey to the Roma final with 165 disabled fans, the largest group of disabled individuals on a plane at the time.

Chas’s influence extends beyond MUDSA. As the Chair of the North West Wheelchair User Group (NWUG) for 14 years and the Co-Chair of the Premier League Disability Advisory Group for seven years, he has been a vocal and effective advocate for disabled individuals’ rights and needs in the sports community. His role as a representative in the MUFC Fans Forum since 2016 further highlights his dedication to enhancing the matchday experience for all fans, particularly those with disabilities.

The MBE award recognises Chas’s immense contributions to improving the experience of disabled Manchester United supporters and his work with the Manchester United Foundation in supporting people with disabilities in the local community. This honour is not only a personal accolade for Chas but also a reflection of the collective efforts and spirit of everyone involved in MUDSA, including the support of Manchester United, Chas’s wife and carer Shirley, the MUDSA committee, and all its loyal members.

Chas’s story is one of resilience, compassion, and leadership. Despite being a full-time wheelchair user due to transverse myelitis, his determination and passion for supporting disabled individuals in the football community have been unwavering.

As we celebrate this remarkable achievement, we also take this moment to reflect on the progress made in inclusivity and accessibility in sports. Chas Banks stands as a shining example of what can be achieved with dedication, empathy, and a relentless pursuit of equality. Congratulations, Chas, on your well-deserved honour!