A young Sky Blues fan left ‘distraught’ by bullying because of his disability has landed an exclusive interview with Coventry City owner Joy Seppala.

Twelve-year-old Ashley Brookes, aka ‘The Boy,’ bagged a face-to-face sit down chat with the Sisu boss who has been rarely interviewed since taking over the football club in 2007. The confident budding broadcaster set up his own YouTube channel a few years ago and has interviewed City players, manager Mark Robins and now achieved his biggest scoop to date.

Proud dad Clive, aged 53, from Warwick, explained: “Ashley was born with cerebral palsy and had to have an operation on his legs when he was about eight, so he was in plaster casts for a while.

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“Young players at the time, Jordan Ponticelli and Chris Camwell, heard about him and came round to our house to give him a signed football and shirt. Then, once he had his casts off he went back to school and he was really badly bullied. When we found out we were all distraught and it really affected Ashley. He was very depressed and that’s something he’s still dealing with today.

“We didn’t know what to do so we emailed the club and asked if one of the players could send him a get well message or something to cheer him up but chief executive Dave Boddy rang me and told me to get to the ground at the next match so that he could meet him, and since then the club have just taken him under their wing. They made him a mascot, gave him Luke Thomas’s shirt a few years ago and they have been fantastic with us.”



Sky Blues vlogger Ashley Brookes, aged 12, during his exclusive interview with Coventry City and Sisu owner Joy Seppala
Sky Blues vlogger Ashley Brookes, aged 12, during his exclusive interview with Coventry City and Sisu owner Joy Seppala

Ashley has ambitions to be a sports broadcaster and journalist and set up his own YouTube channel three years ago.

“Setting up the YouTube channel has had a massive positive effect on his life because he’s doing something he enjoys and he’s getting a lot of good feedback from it from other kids,” said season ticket holder Clive, whose wife Kim and ten-year-old daughter Sienna help out in the Family Zone on matchdays.

“He mainly interviews kids his own age before the game and asks for their score predictions but he’s also interviewed Mark Robins, Dom Hyam, Zain Westbrooke, Adi Viveash and Dennis Lawrence.”

He added: “His ambition was to play for Coventry but now he’s a bit older he understands that with his CP it’s not going to happen, but that’s not going to stop him wanting to play for the CP England team.”

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So how did he get his big exclusive with the big boss?

“He interviewed Dave Boddy just before lockdown and just asked him if we could speak to her, but then with lockdown it never happened. Then, more recently, we bumped into Tim Fisher (chairman) at the stadium and Ashley asked if he could interview him, which he did, and as we were leaving Ashley told him that he’d love to interview Joy Seppala. He said that he’d arrange it and gave us his number and so we set it up for the Bournemouth game on Easter Monday. We went to the directors’ box at half-time and had ten minutes with her.”

He added: “He asked her why she wanted to buy a football club and what were the plans for the future in terms of the sustainability of the club, and he asked about transfers.

“I asked what she thought had changed between Sisu and the fans because the supporters seem a lot more together now that we’re all back at the CBS Arena. She was really nice, open and honest.”

Asked how he feels about landing his big scoop, Ashley said: “I’m well happy. It’s an amazing honour. I was a bit star struck but it was amazing and she was really nice to me.

“I was quite nervous but I asked her a few questions. I wanted to find out about things behind the scenes, and how the club is run, how the transfer budget works etc.”

Ashley was also interested about how the relationship has changed between the supporters and Sisu.

“The fans aren’t hating on Sisu so much now,” he said, “and I think Mark Robins has really helped as well as the fact that the club are doing a lot better and have better players now. And it’s made Sisu realise that the club has got even more potential and they want to give more, and I think that’s what has happened.”

You can watch Sky Blues’ The Boy interview Sisu boss and Coventry City owner Joy Seppala on his YouTube channel here:





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