Social eyes is a private run day service provision for adults with learning disabilities and autism. It was opened in June 2016 when the local council decided to close traditional day services. From day one of Social eyes operating it was our ambition to compete in a variety of sports, with football being at the top of the list. After researching and with guidance from the Sheffield & Hallamshire FA, Social eyes started to really consider launching our own football team, by coincidence (and our fortune) we were introduced to Colin Muncie & Margaret Gregory who at the time were involved with Parkgate FC.
To cut a long story short Colin & Margaret pulled the strings and in September 2018 Social eyes first disability football team was formed and affiliated. We competed in the SYACL for the first time in the season 2018 – 2019, under the name of Social eyes Parkgate FC (playing in red). We did not know what to expect, the standard that was going to be played, but we felt so lucky to have our own football team participating in such a wonderful league. We as a team made a promise that our overall aim was to have fun, make friends and improve our fitness levels & that is exactly what we did.
We absolutely loved our first season, everyone we met made us welcome, we knew that we wanted Social eyes to remain part of the league for many years to come.
Before the start of the 2019 – 2020 season two important stakeholders left Parkgate FC which resulted in a change of vision at the club. It was decided that we would affiliate with another local youth club called Rawmarsh St Josephs FC. Rawmarsh St Josephs are a well-established club and were very keen to bring a disability team to their club, and there was an added bonus that they play in Green & White which is Social Eyes day service branded colour. When we were presented, by St Josephs, with our new green & white kit it’s fair to say we were all beyond happy!!
We played every match with determination, we trained hard on our training days (which are Fridays). The hard work started to pay off, we were very proudly crowned Champions of Division 1 in March 2020 (just before the Covid pandemic).
The pride and happiness this achievement provided to everyone at Social eyes day services (not just our football team members) was off the scale. A league winning team after just 2 competitive seasons!!!
We are proud to be part of the SYACL & we know we are so lucky to have Colin & Margaret on this journey with us and expanding the media / social media coverage for us all.