Graham – My Story
I am 43 years old, live in Hertfordshire with my wife and 3 children. I work in a sports centre and at my local school as a sports coach which I absolutely love! I am currently enrolled on the UEFA B license with Herts FA and hope when qualified to move into coaching in a full time capacity.
Where it all began
When I was young there wasn’t these opportunities available and I played mainstream football all of my life. At 32 while walking down the corridor at the sports centre I worked, Lyndon Lynch the then England manager spotted my limp and within the month I was training with the England team at Lylleshall!
Training and competing
I was put on an insensitive 6 day a week training programme by the England strength and conditioning coaches. I won gold medals representing England in the Arafura games and Home nations tournaments. I went on to play in the world and European championships but unfortunately injury and subsequently lack of fitness ended my international journey just before the 2012 Paralympics. Unable to give up the sport I love I played for London and won the league every year and a cup double thrown in.
The impact sport has had on my life
Without sport I feel that my body would have been a lot weaker. Playing for England has given me such a confidence boost in general life and has given me the opportunity to visit countries that I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise and got to meet lots of amazing people along the way.
Having completed the Level 2 , I am now as I already mid way through the UEFA B license. I would love to work full time in football either in disability or main stream as I get great pleasure in helping young players with the experience I have gained thanks to my journey in CP football.
My advice to others with CP who might want to try sport
Give it a go! Take no notice of negativity. Believe in yourself and give your all, like me, who knows where your passion for a sport will take you.