A disabled Swindon pensioner was forced to use a service elevator intended for rubbish to reach seats at Wimbledon.

Bob Cozens from Moredon uses a mobility scooter and has a communication impairment following a stroke in 2006.

He and his wife Shawn are tennis superfans and attended Wimbledon this year after winning tickets in the ballot.

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Yet when the couple got to the event, they were taken away and told to use an unusual lift in order to get to their seats.

Swindon Advertiser: Shawn and Bob are tennis fanatics and finally made it to Wimbledon this year.Shawn and Bob are tennis fanatics and finally made it to Wimbledon this year. (Image: Shawn Cozens)

Shawn was left upset by the experience as she and her 72-year-old husband were separated from other visiting fans.

“We are huge tennis fans and we have been watching together for more than 35 years so we were so excited to finally go after waiting years,” she said.

“Once we were through the bag checks the only route was upstairs and we couldn’t do that so security took us to another area and we were ostracised straight away.

“Being taken out of the main group with security was upsetting as people looked at us as either VIPs or criminals.”

Swindon Advertiser: This year's edition of Wimbledon was very busy.This year's edition of Wimbledon was very busy. (Image: Adam Davy / PA)

The 61-year-old and her husband were then taken to the service lift after having seen one game of tennis.

“After viewing one match we then tried to find our way to the next one but we got passed along from staff member to staff member,” said Shawn.

“We were eventually taken to a service lift and we had to wait for it to be emptied of rubbish by the kitchens.

“Never mind Dirty Dancing, nobody puts Bob in a service lift. We waited years to be put in a service lift.”

Thanks to John Pring of the Disability News Service, the matter was brought to the Wimbledon organisers’ attention.

Swindon Advertiser: The pair even managed to make it onto the television coverage.The pair even managed to make it onto the television coverage. (Image: Shawn Cozens)

“After hearing about what happened, Wimbledon rang us directly and issued an apology as no way Bob should have been put in a service lift,” said Shawn.

“They are aiming to put up better signage for next year’s event so that nobody has to go what we went through as it isn’t right.”

The couple remain tennis fanatics with their marriage being interlinked with tennis for years and years.

“We used play tennis ourselves when we worked in Oxford but Bob definitely used to cheat as he only has one good shot,” said Shawn.

“From the past our favourite players might have caused a divorce with Bob liking Roger Federer and I was Rafael Nadal.

“We watched Carlos Alcaraz at the Queen’s Club Championships and we knew he would be fantastic.”