Football is more than just a sport, many would say.
The beautiful game has caused many of us to experience a plethora of emotions across the whole spectrum from joy to despair.
Whether you support one of the sport’s elite clubs or your local lower league team, there is nothing like the buzz of watching an entertaining game at 3pm on a Saturday.
However, some football fans are unable to experience football in the conventional way.
One Liverpool fan in particular, 41-year-old Ian Wood, has had just five percent of his sight since he was five years old, but has still cheered his team on from the stands at Anfield.
Now he can experience the game like fellow fans in the ground with a new vision helmet being dubbed RooVision.
“This has changed my life. I’ve been a fan since I was a boy and remember going to a match in the 1990s and they didn’t even have audio-commentary, so this is amazing,” Wood said.
“After years of listening from the sidelines I can actually shout to the ref ‘that was never a penalty’ if I don’t like what I see.
“I can’t read the names on players’ shirts but I can tell who has the ball,” Wood added.
“I get so much more from the game than I did before.”
Wood expanded on what football was like before the vision helmet and how he felt understandably left out.
“Every time we had the ball the crowd cheered.
“When we didn’t they booed, so it was easy to follow. But you do miss out.
“Not every eye condition is the same, so for some people the RooVision wouldn’t work. But for me and the amount of vision I have left, it is great.”
Although in this instance RooVision has helped Ian watch football matches, it has also helped in other facets of life.
“I wear it at the pub to watch matches on TV and chat to other supporters. But it’s not just for football – I have used it at Stereophonics and U2 concerts.”