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Nathan's Story

To mark our 30th anniversary, we’re releasing 30 stories from wheelchair users across our history.

This ambitious and historic project will result in stories being archived as part of the The British Library Sound Archives ensuring that the life experiences of wheelchair users today are captured forever. With thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and The British Library for their support.


Former Kidz Board member, Nathan Mattick, is the first wheelchair user to qualify as a football referee in the UK.

In his ’30 Stories’ interview, he ‘tackles’ tech, describing how some wheelchairs just don’t have the battery power to sustain a full football game on the pitch.

‘Oi ref!’ suddenly has a whole new meaning when the ref can’t move because his wheelchair battery has run down.

He also describes the pain and process that a wheelchair user has to go through to get from A to B, on what should be a straightforward train journey.

“Travelling is a nightmare for me,” he says. Whatever happened to the accessibility revolution from the 2012 Paralympics?  

Nathan appeals to the PM to prioritise changes required to the built environment and transport systems.

Afterall, we are in a new decade.

Nathan, wearing a black referee kit, hold up a red card while in his powered wheelchair on a football pitch


Listen to a 15 minute edit of highlights from Nathan's interview.

“We were on the aircraft and about to go home… and we saw my wheelchair go down the chute, so we landed back at Heathrow and they said ’Mr. Mattick, is this your wheelchair’ and I said yes and I looked at it and it was snapped in half…

"I’ve been left on a train before when I’ve booked assistance...

"I have to be honest I don’t think travel has got better, it’s still at the same level as it was back in 2012 with attitudes sometimes.”


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