More than 100 players who attend Albion in the Community’s football sessions for players with a disability were given the chance to play on the American Express Community Stadium pitch – cheered on by Albion legend Bobby Zamora.
Three of the charity’s four disability-specific national league sides hosted friendly matches on the Amex pitch, with Brighton & Hove Albion Amputee FC playing Arsenal’s amputee team, Brighton & Hove Albion Cerebral Palsy FC up against Southampton, and Brighton & Hove Albion Deaf FC playing a team made up of players from AITC’s disability development squad.
Players from across the charity’s 30-plus regular sessions were also given the chance to play on the pitch, including players from AITC’s fortnightly session for people with Down’s syndrome, and players from its regular session for people with autism.
Players from AITC’s regional talent hubs for promising young players who are blind, have a visual impairment, hearing impairment, or cerebral palsy, were also in action, as were players from AITC’s girls-only disability group.
Zamora was at the event as part of his role as club ambassador and spent the afternoon meeting players from AITC’s sessions and thanking many of the people who have supported the charity over the last year.
Paul Brackley, AITC’s disability manager, said: “It was a fantastic afternoon. For our players to have the chance to not only experience playing on the same pitch as their Albion heroes, but to also get to meet one of them was amazing.
“We’re really grateful to Bobby for coming along and supporting our work. It was certainly an experience many of our players will never forget.”
For more information on the charity’s sessions, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.