John Barnes Joins Special Training Session With Pompey Team
England football legend John Barnes joined a special Portsmouth Amputee FC training session during the Euro 2016 tournament as part of the Don’t Quit Do It disability sport campaign run by law firm and Pompey sponsor Irwin Mitchell.
Former Liverpool and England winger John Barnes, who has 79 caps to his name, met up with the Portsmouth team to see what they can do in training. He also shared some of his famous footballing stories to help inspire the team, practiced penalty shootouts with the lads and together they recreated one of Barnes’ famous England goals.
The Don’t Quit Do It campaign is run by law firm Irwin Mitchell whose specialist serious injury lawyers see first-hand the benefits disability sport can have in their clients’ rehabilitation and recovery from injuries.
Portsmouth Amputee FC plays in the English Amputee Football Association which is looking to grow significantly in the next few years. There are currently six teams across the UK competing in the league which is becoming more and more competitive each year.
Ray Westbrook of Portsmouth Amputee FC said: “It was great to meet John Barnes. He’s someone that we’ve all seen on TV scoring goals for England and for him to take time out to come and train with us is a massive boost for the lads. I think like most people who see us play, he was surprised by the standard that we are at and he was able to give us some tips about how we play. He told us some great stories and we talked about the Euros.”
John Barnes said: “The Portsmouth guys are an inspiration and I’m definitely going to be a fan from now on. The football they are producing is amazing and we had a great time sharing our football stories and practicing penalties.
“The Don’t Quit Do It campaign is really important and I hope more people can get involved in participating or supporting disability sports. I’ve seen from spending time with the amputee football team how much it has helped them both as individuals and as a group.”
Claire Howard, Partner in the Serious Injury Team at Irwin Mitchell’s Southampton office, said: “We welcome the endorsement from John Barnes who was more than happy to spend some time playing football with the Portsmouth guys. Amputee football is really starting to build momentum and we have seen first hand how it has given people who may not otherwise have had a chance to be involved in sport the opportunity to feel part of a team and achieve something really amazing.
“Over the last few months the team has become much more well-known and won competitions for their goals and we are proud to sponsor and support them as the team goes from strength to strength.”
To see John Barnes’ training session with Portsmouth Amputee FC visit www.irwinmitchell.com/personal/personal-injury-compensation/disability-sport/portsmouth-amputee-football-club.