The York inventor who created an amazing device so that Liverpool FC fan can watch matches live at Anfield

Rupert Powell and Ian Wood. Photo by Sue Rylands.
Rupert Powell and Ian Wood. Photo by Sue Rylands.

A York inventor’s creation has allowed a very visually impaired man to watch his beloved Liverpool FC from the touchline.

Rupert Powell, 53, works with charity Remap, which offers customised equipment for disabled people.

He was put in touch with Ian Wood, 40, who can only see short-range and large, high-contrast images because of mitochondrial dysfunction.

Previously, season ticket-holder Mr Wood, also of York, could only enjoy the games at Anfield by soaking up the atmosphere and listening to audio commentary.

But Mr Powell’s solution was to modify a virtual reality headset to incorporate an LCD video display, image processing computer and camera, along with a powerful motorised zoom lens capable of bringing the action close up. The image can be further enhanced by the RaspberryPi computer controlled by Mr Wood.

He could only use the equipment for a small number of games last season, but has come to rely on it this year.

Mr Powell said: “To actually see what’s happening, he had to wait until he got home and watch it on the television. Now he’s basically got his own TV coverage [at the match].”

The pair are now in the process of creating a device which will allow Mr Wood to swim straight in a triathlon.