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ON THE BALL: Che Gray takes centre stage . . .

AS THE football season swings into action, the Football Association is urging anyone dreaming of playing the game to take a look at their new online film.

The film shines a spotlight on five grassroots disability footballers, telling the story of their own individual journey into the game, from those seeking a competitive environment in which to play the game to others simply finding fun, sociable ways of keeping active.

Paul Elliott, Chair of The FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board, said: “This film is a great way of celebrating disability football by demonstrating the impact the game is having on the lives of those people who already play.

“By telling these stories, we hope to raise awareness of the opportunities that exist for all within grassroots disability football.”

 

            MEET THE PLAYERS

BRADLEY NEWTON

Bradley had a stroke at the age of 16 after an accident in a school PE lesson ruptured a blood vessel in his neck, which travelled to his brain. As a result, he lost his left sided peripheral vision. The Macclesfield Eye Society introduced Bradley to the National Partially Sighted Football League which led to him joining the North West Scorpions. Since then, Bradley has won two National Player of the Year Awards and two National cups while his confidence has grown as he’s become more comfortable with his impairment.

CAMERON OSBURN

Cameron is in his second full season with the senior North East & Yorkshire Disability squad since moving up from the junior team. Cameron’s performances  have seen him called up to the England U21 Cerebral Palsy Squad. Outside of playing, he has set up a youth team in Harrogate to provide playing opportunities  for young players with a disability.

CHE GRAY

Having lost his leg a week from birth from a blood clot, Che originally started playing at the age of four with the Southampton Pan Disability team. At 14, he started playing for Portsmouth Amputees and training with the England Amputee youth team. He was recently called up to the England Amputees u23s squad, and has ambitions to play on the international stage and win trophies with England.

DARREN HARRIS

Wolverhampton-born Darren has had an extraordinary career in disability sport, going to two different Paralympic Games where he competed in judo and football. Darren is England’s most capped male footballer, having played 150 times and scoring 34 goals.

ROSIE HODGSON

Rosie, who is currently studying for a degree in photography, began playing in 2010. She initially played for Norwich   City PFC and won promotion to the Premiership. She went on to play for Muscle Warriors (Watford) where she won the championship before joining Aspire PFC where she has now played for four seasons, successfully winning the FA Disability Cup twice.

Rosie has represented Aspire in European competition at the 2016 and   2018 EPFA Nations Cup and has  travelled worldwide to watch      powerchair football, including Ireland, France and America.

VIEW the film at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVhzbeIkr-M&feature=youtu.be

To find out how to get involved in disability football, visit: www.thefa.com/disability