Bernard Higgins from The John Metcalf – Blind Jack of Knaresborough Tri-Centennial Committee has kindly supplied the following report:
'This was no ordinary Exhibition Football Match as it involved disabled youngsters from both Junior FCs. Chris Dixon from Killinghall Nomads JFC and Chris Dixon from Boroughbridge JFC spent the first half hour patiently putting up the goals and nets and some cones to mark out the playing area. Both Chris’ would referee a half each also.
Peter Plews, Chairman of Knaresborough Town FC and his Committee and staff were delighted to welcome the Junior clubs and the parents of the junior players to their ground to experience what it's like to play at a ‘proper’ football ground.
After a group photograph and warm up both junior teams were ready for action and after the kick off at 6.15pm did they supply the action, with small sided football flowing from end to end. Each individual giving their all as the crowd cheered and encouraged every pass, tackle, dribble and shot as well as some incredible saves. A 7-7 final score meant a draw but there were only winners on this football pitch no losers.
Both teams were a credit to the sport of football and especially themselves and their parents.
After two enthralling fifteen minute halves the final whistle blew with handshakes and back slapping all round.
As the young disabled footballers left the pitch Knaresborough Town FC players formed a tunnel and clapped and cheered them off the pitch. It was a lovely and fitting gesture.
This was the main event in many of our eyes last night and as the locals arrived for the 7.45pm kick off to watch Knaresborough Town FC play Harrogate Town FC.
The John Metcalf – Blind Jack of Knaresborough Tri-Centennial Committee would like to thank Knaresborough Town FC, especially Peter Plews, for hosting last night’s event and for making a donation to the three local Charities our Committee are supporting. thanks also to those who bought some ‘Blind Jack’ raffle tickets.
We would also like to thank the players and staff from Harrogate Town for turning out as well as we know they have had a busy few days recently.
Finally, after watching the young disabled players put their heart and soul into their exhibition match it made us appreciate just how much effort they put into the sport of football that they all love playing.'
Both Junior teams had been invited by Colan Leung, Disability Football Development officer, at West Riding County FA, to take part and had this to say on the event:
'It was a pleasure to organise the exhibition match for Killinghall Nomads and Boroughbridge Juniors as it was a great opportunity to promote disability football within West Riding. I know that both clubs work very hard to promote disability football within their areas so having this opportunity for the kids in front of a crowd and at a stadium is priceless.It’s not often that disability football is promoted within the mainstream game so a massive thank you needs to go to Knaresborough Town FC and Harrogate Town FC for allowing both clubs to get involved.
Hopefully this is just the start for disability football and mainstream football integrating with one another as it would be great to see more mainstream clubs having a disability team within their clubs or for them to link in with existing disability clubs in their areas to help promote disability football.'
For more information on disability football, contact Colan Leung on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01132 821222 (option 3).