Motherwell FC is to become the latest club in Scotland to embrace amputee football when the Club hosts an open training session as part of Amputee Football Association Scotland’s #LegOffGameOn Roadshow.
Motherwell FC Community Trust has hooked up with Amputee Football Association Scotland (AFAS), the new Scottish charity set up to grow the sport north of the border, to invite anyone with an amputation or congenital limb difference to come and try the sport on Sunday 10 September at Fir Park. Attending the session will be players who represented Scotland when they made their international debut against The Netherlands amputee team in July.
In the spotlight
Awareness around amputee football rocketed in Scotland when one-legged man Tommy McKay (32) scored a wonder goal in the half time challenge against Dunfermline at Tannadice in November last year. The clip of his super strike was viewed by more than TWO MILLION people on social media, putting the plight of new charity, Amputee Football Association Scotland, into the limelight – an organisation for which Tommy has since become an invaluable ambassador.
And now the charity has hooked up with Motherwell FC Community Trust to kick off its #LegOffGameOn Scottish Roadshow – to help raise awareness of the sport and ultimately develop a league.
There are now two clubs offering amputee football training in Scotland, namely Partick Thistle in Glasgow and Dundee United. The teams were established by AFAS, which was set up in October 2016. While provision is made for disability football of varying disciplines by the Scottish Football Association (SFA), amputee football had not previously existed in Scotland. AFAS has seen a surge in demand and Partick Thistle and Dundee United are due to go head to head in an East Vs West clash later in the year.
AFAS aims to create Scotland’s own amputee football league akin to that which exists south of the Border. The charity is endorsed by the Scottish Football Association (SFA) and has enjoyed the backing of Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill MBE, Dundee United manager Ray McKinnon and Jags boss Alan Archibald, each of whom has championed the work of the charity in recent months. Edinburgh based O’Neill visited Partick Thistle Amputees as guest coach last year and has supported the growth of the sport in Scotland. Moreso, Hearts owner Anne Budge recently gave the charity her backing to launch in the Scottish capital and a taster session will soon be held at Tynecastle.
AFAS sent a Scottish squad to Holland in June for its European debut, where the team faced amputee teams from Germany and The Netherlands in a tri-nation tournament in the city of Breda, marking the first-time Scotland has been represented on the European stage in amputee football. The charity also funded two of its junior squad to attend the European Amputee Football Federation junior camp in Warsaw, Poland in July where they joined 60 other young amputees from across nine countries to learn the skills of the game and make new friends.
Dawn Middleton, General Manager at Motherwell FC Community Trust, commented: “We’re excited to be supporting Amputee Football Association Scotland in helping raise awareness of the sport. We have terrific facilities here which lend themselves perfectly to the game and we would encourage anyone with an amputation or limb difference to come along and give it a try.”
Ashley Reid, founder and CEO of Amputee Football Association Scotland, commented: “Amputee football is a new discipline in Scotland so to see our player numbers grow so rapidly in such a short time is testament to the demand that exists for the sport. Motherwell FC Community Trust has an enviable disability football programme and the club was quick to contact us about hosting a taster session.
“Our aim is to provide the opportunity for anyone with an amputation or limb difference to play football on a level playing field in a fun and safe environment.”
Anyone with an upper or lower amputation or limb difference is invited to attend the taster session on Sunday 10 September from 11-1pm at Motherwell FCs Astro Pitches.
Anyone wishing to support Amputee Football Association Scotland can do so by donating at www.amputeefootballscotland.co.uk