Glasgow & West Scotland

Amputee football comes to Scotland for first time

Child amputees playing football Image copyright Finding Your Feet

A Scottish charity has teamed up with Partick Thistle to bring amputee football to Scotland for the first time.

Finding Your Feet are holding their first training session at the club's Firhill complex in Glasgow.

Amputee Scots have previously had to travel more than 150 miles for a game of football.

Other SPL clubs, including Rangers and Aberdeen, are also interested in setting up dedicated amputee teams.

The training session was open to anyone with upper or lower amputations or limb deficiencies. The project is being backed by the Scottish Football Association.

Earlier this month amputee Brian Murray organised an awareness day at his local football club Annan Athletic in Dumfries and Galloway.

Image copyright Finding Your feet

Brian, 46, who currently travels from Annan to Liverpool to play for Everton Amputees, welcomes the move by Finding Your Feet and will join the coaches at Partick Thistle to assist with training.

The Glasgow-based charity was set up two years ago by Corinne Hutton, who was left a quadruple amputee after losing her hands and feet to septicaemia in June 2013.

The charity aims to provide a support network to amputees and those with limb deficiency through emotional, financial and practical support and through the creation of opportunities in sport and recreation.

Since her illness, Corinne, 44, from Lochwinnoch in Renfrewshire, has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to help other amputees.

She recently became the first female quadruple amputee to conquer Ben Nevis and is due to become the recipient of the UK's first double hand transplant later this year.

Image copyright Finding Your Feet

Partick Thistle already runs other disability football training sessions including frame football and sessions for those with difficulties in mobility and co-ordination.

It is hoped that amputee teams can be created at junior and senior level and that other clubs will follow suit, before a Finding Your Feet league can be created.

Ms Hutton said: "Finding Your Feet is trying to help amputees back to all sorts of activities and football is very popular in the central belt. Our intention is to bring it to Scotland in order to create another opportunity for amputees to access sport.

"Partick Thistle is our local club so seemed the obvious choice as a partner in taking this forward and we were thrilled when they embraced the opportunity."

'Lifestyle option'

Paul Kelly, manager of Partick Thistle Community Trust, said: "We want to awaken an idea in the minds of people who don't consider football to be a lifestyle option for them, so when Finding Your Feet approached us about amputee football there was never a doubt we wanted to be involved.

"We have put a business plan together for the next three years which will include weekly coaching sessions as well as sending coaches for certificates on training people with disabilities.

"We're all looking forward to working with Finding Your Feet to make amputee football a reality in Scotland."

David McArdle, disability development officer at the Scottish Football Association, said: "The Scottish FA are committed to help and create opportunities for everyone to access the national sport and experience the joy and friendship football can bring.

"Amputee Football is the next step on this journey and we are delighted to be involved in such an exciting project to allow amputee participants the opportunity to have fun and get a kick of a ball."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites