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Newcastle United trial incredible haptic shirts against Tottenham

Despite several injuries to the squad this season, Newcastle United have enjoyed another relatively impressive campaign on the pitch. But, their unveiling of brand-new haptic shirts is a reminder of the work the club has been doing to improve life for its supporters away from it.

The shirts were introduced ahead of the Magpies' important clash with top four-chasing Tottenham and is a huge step forward in regard to improving the accessibility of the sport.

Newcastle United haptic shirt a massive boost for accessibility in football

Newcastle United fans celebrate a goal against Tottenham
The new haptic shirts are part of the ‘Unsilence the Crowd' campaign. Photo by Icon Sport

What is the ‘Unsilence the Crowd' movement?

Created by the club shirt sponsor Sela, who kindly donated their sponsorship to the Royal National Institute for Deaf People for the game, the campaign aims to improve the matchday experience for supporters suffering from auditory impairment.

Speaking ahead of the kit launch, the Senior Vice President of Sela said: “Ensuring every fan is able to experience the amazing atmosphere is so important to us as a proud partner of Newcastle United.

“St. James' Park is renowned for its noise and passion. Through this initiative, we hope to enable deaf fans and fans with hearing loss to feel a part of it. 

“We would welcome the whole football family to join us by adopting the technology. By acting now, we can collectively make watching live football matches an incredible experience for everyone who loves the game.”

Sela has also vowed to provide the technology at all future Newcastle home games.

Features of the world-first haptic shirt

The main feature of this haptic shirt is that it converts noise generated within the stadium into real-time touch sensations – allowing those suffering from hearing loss to experience the famous St.James' Park atmosphere for potentially the very first time in their lives.

Exactly how this remarkable technology works remains unknown, but the lives of match-going supporters with hearing impairment will certainly be improved massively thanks to its introduction.

A huge step forward

In the modern era where equality has become a major concern within the sport, accessibility and providing an improved matchday experience for those suffering from disabilities has been one of the key issues discussed.

Undeniably, this brand-new haptic shirt introduced by Sela and Newcastle is a huge step forward and its importance should not be underestimated.

If this technology were to become the norm and was available at clubs throughout the footballing pyramid, thousands of auditorily impaired supporters would be able to experience the sport we all love in a previously impossible way.


Harry Dowsett

Freelance football writer with experience writing for multiple digital platforms, such as GIVEMESPORT. Recently graduated from Portsmouth University with a media studies degree - completing a dissertation on the evolution of sports journalism in the process. He has a love for Arsenal Football Club and a passion for football as a whole.

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