More than 100 players from Albion in the Community’s disability football sessions got the chance to play on the American Express Community Stadium pitch today.
AITC is now the largest provider of disability football opportunities in the area and runs around 25 regular sessions throughout Sussex.
It also runs a growing number of teams that compete in national competitions, including Brighton & Hove Albion Amputee FC (BHAAFC) and Brighton & Hove Albion Cerebral Palsy FC (BHACPFC) – both of which hosted friendly matches on the pitch earlier today.
BHAAFC drew with Portsmouth, while BHACPFC were unlucky lose to a strong Chelsea team.
AITC’s newest team, Brighton & Hove Albion Down’s Syndrome FC, played their second ever game – drawing 6-6 with Aldingbourne All Stars.
A team of former AITC players was invited back to take on players from the charity’s elite disability football programme in a game held in memory of Steve Osborne, a popular player who regularly attended sessions with AITC.
The AITC elite players secured a narrow 1-0 victory in a highly-competitive match. Lesley Osborne (Steve’s mother) then presented the trophy to the winning team.
Players from AITC’s junior and adult pan-disability hub clubs in Brighton, Burgess Hill, Horsham, Eastbourne, Worthing and Chichester took part in a series of games, while everyone who played was given the chance to see the trophy recently awarded to Brighton & Hove Albion following their successful promotion to the Premier League.
Paul Brackley, AITC’s disability manager, said: “It was great to see so many of our players get the chance to play on the same pitch as their Albion heroes and having opportunities like this is something I know our players really appreciate.
“Thank you to everyone who came along to take part – including the players and coaches from Chelsea, Portsmouth and Aldingbourne – and well done to all our players.”
For more information on AITC’s disability football programme, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.