Football

I starting playing football at a very young age for a team called Rangers in the Folkestone Youth League in 1980. 

I then played for St Mels, in Shepparton, Australia, finishing top goalscorer in my first season. After a couple of seasons, I transferred to St George's, where we became one of the top sides in the district.

On returning to England, I played for Midgets, but was usually a sub... Got a few minutes now and then.

Upon leaving school, knowing I was never going to become a pro footballer, I decided to become a referee..Passed my exam in 1990. I had a harness for my whistle, that was strapped to my chest. I had a piece of yellow material pinned to one sleeve and red on the other, these were my cards. When booking/sending off a player, I had to remember their names, luckily never had to remember too many in any one match. When I was a linesman, I held the flag in my mouth. I officiated in several cup finals and I run the line in the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup.

After 6 years of reffing, I wanted to play again.. 

I saw an advert in a local paper about a disability football competition, so I contacted the organisers to enquire about playing. They told to come along, and they would do their best to find me a team, which they did, with a bit of organising by myself, we went on to win the Competition.

Shortly after this I went for a trial with Chelsea Disabled, and made my debut 3 days later against Millwall Disabled, I scored direct from a corner in a 3 all draw. We won the National 5 a side Tournament, which was played at Craven Cottage, home of Fulham. Picture above.

After 2 seasons at Chelsea, and winning 2 awards - Top Goalscorer and Player of the Year, I was approached to help set up and become Player/Manager of a disabled team in Folkestone called Shepway Wanderers DFC. We joined the National Multi Disabled League the following season, finishing a very respectable 3rd in the league in our first season. Another Golden Boot Award for myself.. My favourite memory at SWDFC - We were trailing 4-3 away to my old pals at Chelsea with 5 mins to go. It was then that I came up with a brilliant set piece plan. We were awarded a free kick in our own half, I told my team mate to hit it long, I then called several players towards me, and told them to surround me. The Chelsea lads were looking a little confused by this. As my team mate took the free kick, the lads split, and I ran through and lobbed the keeper from 20yards.. A very sweet moment for myself, and a great point for us.

Whilst at SWDFC I was picked to represent England Disabled against Wales Disabled, which was played at The Sixfields, home of Northampton Town. We won 5-0, and I was awarded Man of the Match. Picture above.

A season and a half on; I had done all I could for the club and decided it was time to move on to concentrate on just playing. I was immediately approached by Millwall Disabled, and signed within a few days. First game for Millwall, yes you guessed it, away to Shepway Wanderers DFC. I wasn't sure of the welcome I would get,  most of them were fine, but there was a few players who just wanted to kick me and to try and injure me, but fortunately none of them succeeded. We won 12-0, only scored the 1 myself, a 35yard volley, very pleasing moment. 

Whilst with Millwall we won a European Competition in Barcelona. I have never played in such heat, but it was well worth it. Whilst we were there, the England Manager named me Captain for the upcoming World Cup. Unfortunately, I suffered a very serious injury, missing the World Cup, and didn't play again for 3 years. That was probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with. To say I was gutted, would be an understatement.

After recovering from injury, I returned to Shepway Wanderers, before the team split. The team then became Folkestone Invicta, where I had 1 season and won another Top Goalscorer award. 

A couple of friends had setup Basildon Utd Disabled, and asked me to play, only played the once which was against Tottenham Disabled.. I scored twice in the 3 all draw, and scored the winning penalty..

I retired shortly after this, but still have a pair of boots and shin pads in my kit bag, just in case... 

UP THE WOLVES