Scot­land call-up for am­putee foot­ball hero

Picked for match against Hol­land next month

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Mur­ray Spooner

A one-handed goal­keeper from Cam­bus­lang is set to rep­re­sent Scot­land just months af­ter tak­ing up am­putee foot­ball.

Stephen Greg­son, 42, was in­spired to take up the sport by son and Hall­side Pri­mary pupil Ryan, 11, who, like him, was born with one hand miss­ing.

The Drum­sagard mar­ried dad-oftwo, is pre­par­ing for his de­but for the na­tional am­putee side against Hol­land on June 23.

And Ryan, who is also a goalie, will at­tend a train­ing camp in War­saw, Poland, in July to take part in a Euro­pean train­ing camp for am­putee foot­ball stars of the fu­ture.

Glas­gow City Coun­cil worker Stephen ad­mits he was not al­ways keen on the idea of play­ing am­putee foot­ball be­cause he thought his days of play­ing the sport were be­hind him.

He ex­plained: “I was tak­ing Ryan along to dif­fer­ent venues for train­ing ses­sions as the sup­port­ive dad and I got speak­ing to my friend Ash­ley Reid, [founder of the Am­putee Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion Scot­land] who in­vited me along to play.

“At first I wasn’t sure be­cause I hadn’t played foot­ball reg­u­larly, I just played five-a-side with my friends. But I got in­volved and they’re a great bunch of boys and I’m re­ally en­joy­ing it.

“We both play for Partick This­tle and we fin­ished sec­ond bottom this sea­son. But for a team who has only been go­ing since Novem­ber, I think that is pretty good.

“I think it was more about get­ting to know each other and how we played and peo­ple are join­ing the team all the time.

“I have re­ally en­joyed it and the train­ing has re­ally im­proved my fit­ness. It has been great to meet goalies from other teams in the same po­si­tion as me.”

Stephen and Ryan have an un­known con­di­tion which caused them both to be born with a hand miss­ing. Stephen was born with­out his right hand and Ryan his left.

“When Ryan was born, they did tests to see if it was ge­netic but it was in­con­clu­sive,” Stephen said.

“We don’t know what caused it but we try not to let it hold us back.

“As I get older and look at Ryan I just hope any­thing which held me back won’t hold him back.”

Partick This­tle are the only am­putee team based in Scot­land but both Dundee United and Hearts have ex­pressed in­ter­est in start­ing their own sides.

Stephen re­vealed it was com­mon for play­ers with upper limbs miss­ing to go in goals while those with­out lower limbs would play out­field.

Ryan also turns out as goal­keeper for his school team, Hall­side Pri­mary B team. And he is ex­tremely proud of his dad.

Ryan said: “I didn’t think he was that good in goal and then I was train­ing against him at Peter­shill and some of the saves he was pulling off, I didn’t know he could do that.”

•The Am­putee Scot­land team are try­ing to raise funds to pay for the Hol­land trip. To do­nate, go to www. just­giv­ing.com/crowd­fund­ing/ am­putee foot­ball scot­land

At first I wasn’t sure but they’re a great bunch of boys and I’m re­ally en­joy­ing it Stephen Greg­son

Goal­keeper’s union Partick This­tle goalies Stephen and Ryan Greg­son

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.