Derek Dooley was a famous football player in Sheffield, he was involved in both Sheffield clubs during his life. His career was cut short when his leg had to be amputated following a fracture sustained whilst playing for Sheffield Wednesday in 1953. He later went on to become Chief Executive Officer of Sheffield United.After his death in 2008 his friends set up an organisation called Derek Dooley Football club to support amputees who wanted to engage in Football. A high level inspirational coach was employed called Steve Adams who for 10 years created a fun place to play football and learn all about the beautiful game. He made every session enjoyable. In 2009 it was decided to open the club up to anyone with a disability or additional needs.
Derek Dooley FC are an inclusive club who have 60 players on roll from all over Sheffield. We pride ourselves in being a family club who care about the individuals who participate. We help them to reach their full potential, regardless of their own personal difficulties. Individual skills are developed and confidence raised while we encourage all players to train hard and become part of a team.
“Tell them everything will be okay; we will help any new players“
SYACL.com talks to Cody Hinchliffe from Derek Dooley Blue 5-a-side.
One of the more familiar stars on a South Yorkshire Ability Counts 5-a-side matchday is the tough-tackling, no-nonsense 24 -year old Cody Hinchliffe from Derek Dooley Football Academy (Blue) side, who are the current leaders of Division One after the first round of fixtures at Goals Sheffield. We wanted to get to know her a little better, so we started by asking Cody a little about herself.
SYACL: Tell us a little about yourself, what position you play, who you play for, and how you got into football?
My name is Cody and I’m a BIG Sheffield United fan. Playing at the back, defending the ball, I started playing football while still at school and I signed for the team when Dawn asked me to play for Derek Dooley Blue.
Cody was a volunteer at the Special Olympics in Sheffield and was hoping to compete at Football at the next one, but they have unfortunately been cancelled. She volunteers in Sport sessions and attends sessions at Concord Sport Centre. She is a fabulous role model to all the children and young people who attend the sessions.
SYACL: What do you enjoy most about playing for Derek Dooley?
It’s a great club Derek Dooley, I like my friends and getting exercise.
SYACL: What’s your favourite thing about playing matches in the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League?
I like to travel to different places and we travel in the Sheffield United minibus.
Cody walks to training which is 3 or 4 miles from where she lives and loves to train with the Premiership team and she’s not afraid to tackle them!
SYACL: Who is your favourite football team?
My favourite team is SHEFFIELD UNITED.
Cody goes to all the home matches and sits on the Kop. An avid Blade and well known by players, staff, and spectators!
SYACL: Who is your favourite player? Why do you like him?
My favourite player is Billy Sharp – because he’s sexy!
SYACL: What would you say to someone who wants to play in the matches but is a little shy or nervous about joining a team?
Tell them everything will be ok; we will help you!
Cody is kind and caring and loves to help new people who come to training and make them feel welcome.
SYACL: How well do you think your team will do this season?
So far so good for Cody and her Derek Dooley Blue teammates. To see if they can stay at the top of Division One when play resumes after lockdown, visit www.southyorkshireabilitycountsleague.com.
In the meantime, thanks to Cody for her interview and good luck for the rest of the season.