I was introduced to Powerchair Football when I was 13, I was at school one day when I was handed a leaflet for a Powerchair Football tournament hosted by Middlesex FA at the Aspire Rehabilitation Unit in Stanmore Hospital.

At that stage of my life I had previously played ambulant football for Wimbledon as part of their disability program, but this was never going to see me hit the heights I wanted to in my life, as I couldn’t really run, jump or kick a football very hard. My parents took me every week, just so I could be part of a team. It broke their hearts seeing me struggle to play much part on the pitch. Throughout my life their support for me has been amazing and I’ll always be grateful to them for their help.

I was due to have an operation on my back (scoliosis), to sort out the curve in my spine and I knew that once I had this procedure done my movement would be further restricted, so the introduction of Powerchair Football couldn’t have come at a more perfect time in my life.

I attended the tournament in Stanmore and I was put into a team with other wheelchair users who turned up on the day. This is when I knew this was the sport for me. I had so much enjoyment from playing and felt that I was really part of a team. It was a sport that could allow me to excel in a way I had always wanted to. My team won the tournament and from that day on I could never had imagined how amazing my Powerchair Football career would be.

Following on from the tournament, I received a phone call two weeks later offering me an opportunity to go to Japan and see how the sport was being played over there. Going to Japan and playing some of their teams was an honour and an overall amazing experience. This is where I was given my first England shirt to wear and this had number 8 on it. Since then, number 8 has been my lucky number and I always wear it for club and country.

Powerchair Football has allowed me to visit many countries such as Japan, America, Portugal, France, Ireland and Denmark. Soon, I will get to add a new country to that list, when I travel to Finland to represent England at the EPFA Nations Cup.

I’ve been lucky enough to achieve a number of targets that I set out when I started playing Powerchair Football. I’ve won 7 league titles with Aspire PFC, as well as 5 WFA Cups. We haven’t been able to crack Europe yet, but hopefully, if we continue to work hard and improve it we will have a chance at the next competition.

On an International front, I am extremely proud to be the current England Captain, it’s something I hope can continue for the next tournament and competitions in future. I have been involved in every England squad since I began playing Powerchair Football and the quality of the squads have been improving year upon year, so you can’t afford to rest on your laurels! You have to continue to push yourself to improve because there are always other players who want to be in your position and play for England.

I have taken part in two major finals for England, one being the last European final against France and the other being the FIPFA World Cup final against America in 2007.  Unfortunately, we lost on both occasions, but I am positive that we can go one better this year when the squad goes to Finland for the Nations Cup.

Powerchair Football has grown so much over the years and it continues to excite me. I continue to set myself targets - I am forever striving to be better. I am a bit older than most players nowadays, but I am not hanging up my bumper just yet! I still have my 3 outstanding trophies to win (World Cup, European Cup, Champions League) and will keep working hard to do so.

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