14 CP Footballers selected to take on the world in Brazil

The British Paralympic Association (BPA) today announced the 14 footballers who will compete for ParalympicsGB at Rio 2016.

Of the 14 athletes, all but two of the team make their Paralympic debut; only former Everton FC Academy player Michael Barker and Scottish veteran Jonathan Paterson return from London and both will compete in their third Games.

Among the new players are former Birmingham City FC player Jack Rutter and Sean Highdale who previously played for Liverpool FC and also represented England at Under-16s level. Both Jack and Sean joined the national football 7-a-side teams after acquired brain injuries. The squad also features former Tranmere Rovers forward Ollie Nugent, who currently plays for Chester FC.

The ParalympicsGB team will be drawn from several of the home nations, with players from the English, Scottish and Northern Irish squads – many of whom competed internationally for their home nations at recent World and European Championships.

Jack Rutter, captain of the team said today:

“There is no greater honour than to represent your country on the international stage and it’s a proud moment for me today to be announced as captain of this team of outstanding players.

” It’s a proud moment for me today to be announced as captain of this team of outstanding players.”

Jack Rutter

“We’ve come together to create a really competitive force and we believe we’re up there with the best teams in the world. We’re going out to Rio to make everyone back at home proud, and I hope the nation will Supercharge the team to some truly memorable performances.”

“I hope the nation will Supercharge the team to some truly memorable performances.”Jack Rutter

Jonathan Paterson, who first made his Paralympic debut in Beijing, said:

“This will be my third Paralympic Games and I don’t think we’ve ever been stronger. The amount of progress we’ve made throughout this cycle has been impressive, and it’s great to have new faces on the team who have created greater strength in depth. I can’t wait to step on to the pitch for the first time in Rio.”

“I don’t think we’ve ever been stronger.”Jonathan Paterson

Penny Briscoe MBE, ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission for Rio 2016, said:

“This is a fantastic and talented group of players and I’d like to pay credit to all of the home nations for the excellent work they have undertaken to identify new talent and to bring them through to compete on the international stage.

“They have the opportunity to shine when the Games get under way in 86 days’ time.”Penny Briscoe MBE

“I’d also like to congratulate the players for all of the hard work which has led to their selection to the team. They have the opportunity to shine when the Games get under way in 86 days’ time.”

Jeff Davis, Team Leader, said:

“I am really proud to lead these players as we prepare to compete at the Rio Paralympics, it’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase this sport and I believe their hard work will pay dividends at the Games. The top teams are incredibly competitive and there will be no easy matches, but we feel ready to take on the challenge.”

“We feel ready to take on the challenge.”Jeff Davis

The selected athletes for the football 7-a-side are:

Jack Rutter
Home town: Gloucester

Sean Highdale
Hometown: Liverpool

Emyle Rudder
Home town: Stratford, London

Matt Crossen
Home town: Stockton on Tees

Ollie Nugent
Home town: Irby, Wirral

Giles Moore
Home town: Ilminster

Ryan Kay
Home town: Peterborough

Michael Barker
Home town: Liverpool

Liam Irons
Home town: Dunstable

Martin Hickman
Home town: Lennoxtown / Motherwell

David Porcher
Home town: Livingston

James Blackwell
Home town: Bristol

Jonathan Paterson
Home town: Motherwell

David Leavy
Home town: Downpatrick

Images and photos courtesy of Paralympics GB

7 a side No 2       7 a side No 1