A SWINDON Town fan with Parkinson’s disease claims he was refused entry at Stevenage on Saturday because stewards thought he was drunk.

Nigel Pearce, 67, went to Saturday's game at the Lamex Stadium with his two sons and five-year-old grandson.

Prior to the game starting - where ugly scenes marred the 1-1 draw between the sides as visiting Town fans confronted stewards and threw flares and seats onto the pitch - Nigel was forced to wait outside for 30 minutes before he was let in after his son made a complaint.

He said: “I told the steward I had Parkinson’s and he shrugged his shoulders and looked away.

“They treated me as if I was drunk and I wasn’t allowed into the stadium.

“Another one said ‘go down the road to grab a coffee and sober up’.

“I told them it doesn’t matter how many cups of coffee I have, you can’t change my condition.

“This got me separated between my two sons and grandson.

“My grandson then got quite upset because I was missing, it was quite an embarrassing ordeal.

“I don’t know whether he’s going to go again because he got really upset by it.

“He couldn’t find his grandad and it did make him cry.

“I didn’t want to take him to the football to cry, that’s the last thing I wanted.”

Nigel said the incident showed why better awareness of Parkinson's is needed at football grounds.

He said: “I don’t know why these stewards aren’t aware, you don’t have to be in a wheelchair to be invalid. 

“They don’t understand what Parkinson’s is and how it makes you physically.

“It needs addressing and they need to be trained.

“That’s what I think the problem is.”

Stevenage released a statement on Twitter confirming the club had been made aware of the incident after Nigel posted details on Facebook.

They tweeted: "The club can confirm that the below incident has been reported, and that we are currently in communication with The Football Supporters’ Association.

“#StevenageFC is committed to being a welcoming and inclusive environment for all supporters, and that any form of abuse or discrimination is unacceptable.

A Stevenage spokesperson told the Adver: “The club are currently in communication with the Football Supporters’ Association on the matter.

“Any official club statement will be available to view on www.stevenagefc.com”