Blackburn Rovers and the power of football can result in having a positive influence on thousands of people’s lives in many different ways.
For 27-year-old Arman Tayebi, who is an asylum seeker from Iran, Rovers touched his life in a way he will never forget when the club’s Community Trust provided him with a complimentary ticket to watch the game against Northampton Town in January.
Prior to the game against the Cobblers, Arman had never attended a game before and he admitted he felt overwhelmed by the fact he could enjoy his first taste of live football at Rovers.
“I have lived in England now for eight years and in Blackburn for two of those,” revealed Arman. “I have been feeling down recently and life has been hard but when I was given the chance to watch Blackburn Rovers, I couldn’t stop smiling, it was a great day.”
Arman attended his first match at Ewood Park through the ARC project, who are a well-established charity with experience of working with asylum seekers and refugees in the local area.
ARC project’s connection with Blackburn Rovers Community Trust began when they entered a team in the Social Inclusion Football League, which is played on a monthly basis in the Indoor Centre at Ewood Park.
Since then, the Trust has donated tickets to ARC, and many people who are helped by the charity have had the opportunity to experience a home matchday at Blackburn Rovers, including Arman.
Arman, an avid football fan, volunteers in the office at ARC, and admitted he is now a Blackburn Rovers supporter.
He continued: “ARC project and Blackburn Rovers have both been really kind to give me the opportunity to watch the game against Northampton Town with my friends.
“Straight away I could see how the whole town gets behind the team and show their support. I used to play football in Iran, and watching the game, all my football memories flooded back.
“After living in Blackburn now for two years, I can see why everyone loves the club and I am definitely now a supporter.
“It was my first match and I want to carry on watching Blackburn Rovers because of the kindness they have shown me.”
For further information about the Social Inclusion Football League at Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, please contact Chris.Brankin@brfctrust.co.uk.