By day, Lee Dobson is an administration assistant within Crawford & Company UK’s general property adjusting team. He’s also been an international amputee footballer for more than a decade.
Tell us about the game?
It’s seven-a-side; outfield players all have lower limb amputations or congenital limb deficiencies. The goalkeepers have an upper extremity amputation. At the moment it’s still not a Paralympic sport; we’re working on making it one though.
You recently collected a bronze medal representing Great Britain at the AMP Futbol Cup, Polish Invitation Trophy. Tell us about that.
We played in a six-team tournament in Poland, beating Spain and France in the group stages but losing out in the semi-final to the host nation. In the end we played Spain again for third place and beat them 4-3 on penalties. That’s me in the photograph (below) scoring in the shootout.
What’s the best aspect to competing?
In the 10 or so years I’ve been involved with the international set up, I’ve been to Brazil, Argentina, Russia and all around Europe to compete. The game is very competitive and fast and you have to be really fit to play. I took a few years out while my children were young and I worked really hard to get back to the level of strength and fitness you need to play amputee football internationally.
Are there any big challenges?
When you get involved in amputee football, you quickly realise how important fundraising is. We’re entirely self-funded. The association has a charitable arm and donors, but we can always use more money to keep the sport going and moving forward. We also actively recruit players from limb loss centres. We’re all involved in the club side of things too; I play for Manchester City through their city in the community project and there are lots of opportunities to get involved.
What’s next on the calendar?
Our football association has announced a 22-man provisional squad in the lead up for this year’s European Championships, which is going to be whittled down to a final 13 at the end of April. The competition will take place in late 2017. As a squad we’re all working hard and looking forward to that.
To find out more, including how to participate, provide sponsorship or give an individual donation, please visit http://theeafa.co.uk
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