Disabled man banned from Luton Wetherspoon pub for wearing leisure pants

Marc Watson outside The White House
Marc Watson outside The White House

A disabled man was left in distress after the Wetherspoon pub in Luton he has visited for years banned him for wearing tracksuit bottoms.

Marc Watson, 29, suffers from Cerebral Palsy and wears loose-fitting leisure pants to ease the pressure on his legs.

Going to the White House on the evening of Monday, September 15, Marc was confronted by a bouncer who refused to let him in.

Marc said: “It was the doorman who said it, and when I tried to speak to a manager, he said I was banned for a week.

“I can’t wear certain clothes because it makes it physically impossible for me to walk. Jeans or suit trousers are literally agony for me.

“It just seems unfair. To get around, I use a mobility scooter and they can see that.”

Marc, of Studley Road, waited a few days before going back to the pub, where staff allowed him in.

But he was confronted by a doorman again the following week, and this time was banned for a month.

The ban was witnessed by his friend Steve Wyatt, who told Luton News: “He got banned on the Monday and a few days later he went back to the pub and asked staff if he could come in, and they said ‘fine’. As soon as we went in the next Monday, the doorman said, ‘I hear you was in again on Thursday, I’m banning you for a month’.

“Marc was getting a bit upset so we took him away and went back to speak to a deputy manager.

“We tried to reason with them but they weren’t having it. I think it’s stupid, he’s got a mobility scooter and he’s not causing anyone any harm.”

Another friend, David Marshall, told Luton News: “I think it’s absolutely disgusting. They ought to read the Equalities Act, the way they treat people.”

In a statement to Luton News Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon defended the pub’s stance.

He said: “Mr Watson is well known to staff in the pub and has been a regular visitor over the years.

“On this occasion he chose to come to the pub after 8pm when the pub operates a dress code policy which includes a ban on wearing tracksuit bottoms.

“This dress code has been in operation for a long time. This was explained to him by door staff and he was offered the opportunity to go home and change.

“However, at this stage his behaviour became unacceptable and as a result door staff asked him to leave.

“This decision was backed by the manager.

“It is ridiculous to suggest that Wetherspoon, as a company, or The White House discriminates against customers with disabilities.

“He is barred from the pub at present, however the manager is happy to discuss the matter with Mr Watson direct at the pub.”

In response to the statement, Mr Watson hit back at any suggestion that his behaviour was “unacceptable”, saying he only got upset after the bouncer ordered him out of the pub. Another friend present also disputed the pub’s account of Mr Watson’s behaviour.

The pair also insisted the incident took place at 6pm not 8pm.