1. ITV Report

Team GB para-athlete 'kicked out of club for resting'

Joshua Howard Photo: MEN Syndication

A Manchester nightclub has apologised to a Team GB para-athlete who was kicked out by bouncers after he ‘sat down to rest his legs’.

Long jumper Joshua Howard, 18, who has cerebral palsy, said he was sitting on the edge of the dance floor at The Factory nightclub when staff removed him.

Outside, bouncers then quizzed him on his condition - before accusing him of being a ‘danger to others’.

Eventually, they conceded he wasn’t drunk or on drugs and said he could go back in, but reduced to tears, Josh left in a cab.

The general manager has now emailed Joshua to apologise, and told him the contracted bouncers responsible had been fired.

Joshua, who came third for Great Britain at the European Championships last year, said:

I’m really thankful that they reached out to me with an apology. But I’d like to say please try not to let it happen to anyone in the future because I know how it feels - it plays on your mind and affects you.

You hear about it on the internet and the news but I’ve never experienced this first hand.

– Joshua Howard

The former Loreto College student from Reddish said he’d had only two drinks when his ordeal unfolded on September 23, adding:

I don’t take drugs - my athletics career would be over. But I can’t stand up for long because of my cerebral palsy, if I get a chance to sit down I do.

I was sitting along the edge of the dance floor with a lot of other people, I had my eyes shut because I was in pain.

But a bouncer came over and kicked me out. Then outside they said I was a ‘danger to others’ and a ‘hazard’.

They said I shouldn’t have come to the club in the first place. I was just so shocked.

– Joshua Howard

Joshua, whose condition affects his body movement, muscle control and balance, was at the club with a group of pals when the night took a turn for the worse.

When he took the bouncers to task outside, he says they claimed his ‘eyes were rolling’ in his head.

He tried to explain his condition - but he added:

They started asking me questions about it in an unsettling way, like they didn’t believe me. Then they said about me being a danger to others.

– Joshua Howard

Joshua, who plans to compete at the European Para Athletic Championships next year for Team GB, was also recovering from a recent hernia operation.

Eventually, and after his pals came out to support him, the bouncers conceded he should be allowed back into the club.

But Joshua, who was by now in tears chose instead to head home in a cab. Factory have been asked for comment but have yet to respond. The Manchester Evening News have seen an email from the club’s manager to Joshua in which they apologise profusely.