Team biographies

CITY KNIGHTS FC

Sharon Lavender, Secretary/ Manager of the City Knights FC tells us about the formation of the Knights.

Eddie Edwards was our founder and our dear wonderful friend and mentor. He was an amazing person and put his heart and soul into forming the club.  Sadly, he passed away, but to keep his flame alight I decided to keep the club going, the players were happy with that decision too.

All the coaches and players worked together as a football family to make the club work. Eddie and myself in 2012 decided to call the club City Knight’s to symbolise Knights as being protectors of the vulnerable.

We have had some great coaches come and go and now we have some amazing coaches who put their heart & soul into the club and a Chairman who wears his heart on his sleeve. We have some wonderful inspirational players and we all learn from each other and support each other. 

Our mission is to harvest potential no matter how great or small and help develop life skills, unite players regardless of their gender, race, sexuality, disability and background. We work with our players disabilities to help bring out their hidden abilities.

Through football we enable them to keep fit and have fun!

Spartans FC

Spartans FC were formed in late 2009 for players with a learning disability and joined the Ability Counts League the following season, losing all competitive matches for almost 3 seasons. Despite limited success on the field of play, the players always enjoy the match day experience, forging strong bonds between themselves and creating new friendships with members of other clubs.

Over the years the club have participated in many tournaments all over the UK, winning a couple of trophies and when possible remaining in the area for overnight stays to explore new and different environments. In 2005 the club went to Malaga, Spain, for a week of fun that included matches versus  teams from around Europe. The club have rearranged this year’s cancelled trip to Barcelona for 2021, where they will be competing in a mini tournament, with hopes of meeting up with Lionel Messi during their tour of the Nou Camp Stadium.

The club consider that creating as many social opportunities as possible benefits the players and families and is just as important as playing football matches.

Wheatley Wanderers bio

Our team started when the Mental Health team at St Catherine’s in Doncaster lost its funding. I had played in that team since 2000.

I kept a team running and continued to enter tournaments, and playing a few friendlies. Then I found out about the Ability Counts league. With a lot of help from SHCFA, we were affiliated to Wheatley Wanderers JFC, a local youth club. I passed my coaching level 1 shortly after and we have been playing in the league for 3 seasons now and have just gained promotion to the Championship.

We are a small, friendly club with 14 members with ages ranging from 21 to 59. Our newest member is deaf, so we are learning sign language to help him fit in. I have been playing football with another player for 20 years now. I am proud of what we have achieved, and seeing my players improve on and off the pitch is great.

Chris A R Pow

How Titans Began

Club Doncaster Titans was founded back in 2014 by our current Chairman and Manager Darren Warner. Darren’s quest started in 2006 when searching for a football club for his autistic son Jordan then aged 16, who had just started to show an interest in wanting to play football.

It was then a few years later after trying two different disability football clubs and several mainstream football clubs in the area that Darren decided to sign up for a Level 1 in coaching football course with the FA. This would then enable Darren to create a club himself from scratch that would not only be able to accommodate his son and his friends but any player with a disability or mental health condition in the Doncaster area.

In February of 2014, Darren completed his level 1 and was able to launch the then called “Doncaster Titans” on the 7th June with just 8 players. Since then the club has gone through some major transitions and gone from strength to strength, joining forces with “Club Doncaster” in 2016 to create the club as it’s known today “Club Doncaster Titans”. The club now has over 100 players starting from as young as 5 years old.

Derek Dooley FC…. Photos to follow.

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.

Dawn Wood and Claire Cowlishaw

SOCIAL EYES FC THE JOURNEY.

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 2 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!!

September 2019 saw Social eyes start their second season in the SYACL and as our day service provision had grown, this had resulted in us gaining even more keen and talented footballers.  The group trained hard and our team set themselves a challenge that they wanted to win silverware.

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 look forward with anticipation and excitement to our new season.  Social eyes Rawmarsh St Josephs FC will now be entering 2 competitive teams, one in the Championship & one in Division 1.

We look forward to having more fun, making new friends and working hard on our fitness in the upcoming season.

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.

Bradford City Disability FC

Bradford City DFC is a disability club that provides 4 hours of football training for players of all ages (from 6 to 60), of all disabilities and both male and female players. 

We are a family club, which has around 80 players registered and we have 7 teams who play in the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League. There are four 7-a-side teams & three 5-a-side teams including a new deaf team.

We also have within our teams, 2 women only teams, who have reached the FA Peoples Cup Final for the last 2 seasons.

Winner: Bradford City Disability FC (Women & Girls)FA Grassroots Awards, 2020 West Riding FA, Grassroots Project of the Year

Bradford City Disability FC have led the way in delivering female disability football provision both in Bradford and in the West Riding. The women’s team started in January 2018 with a turn up and play session. Their first year in competitive football they were runners up in the FA Peoples Cup, a national competition and found themselves included in the National Football Museum and racking up over 100k views on Twitter. 12 months on they did it again as runners up in 2019, narrowly missing out.

They are striving to improve opportunities for all women and girls with disabilities to play football. They started the first girls wildcats disability sessions in the county this year which has resulted in a new team of under 12 girls.

They are providing a safe inclusive environment with female coaches, female disability role models and are not only encouraging but shaping the future generations of female footballers. They are creating a real buzz around female disability football. Two of the players have also been selected for the 2021 Special Olympics and will be the first female players to participate from Yorkshire & Humberside.

A big thank you to Jaimie Dorward who has pushed for female football to be included more and more throughout our club alongside their coach Paul Jubb.

 The Juniors play in the West Riding Ability Counts Junior league where we have 1 under 16’s & 3 under 13’s teams including an all girls team. The under 16’s won it last season and they have played in South Yorkshire too. 

The club was founded in August 2017 by our head Coach Paul Jubb and Jaimie Dorward and we are part of Bradford City Community Foundation.

Paul & Jaimie at St George’s Park for the Ladies semi-final

Paul Jubb has been coaching disability football for 20 years now, and has won a few awards along the way including the BBC’s Unsung Hero.

Last season our Clarets and Diamonds 5ba side teams won their respective leagues but unfortunately both the Ambers & Blues 7-a-side teams were relegated from their leagues. 

We are a Charter Standard Club affiliated to the West Riding FA and we offer volunteering at Bradford City AFC.

We love being part of the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League, it is very well run, the teams play at their own abilities and all the teams are welcoming & friendly. Mike and Darren are very dedicated to the success of the League.

Our media presence is:

Website: bradfordcitydfc.co.uk 

Facebook: Bradford City DFC 

Twitter: @bcafcdisability  #BradfordCityDFC

Tomorrow, Tuesday 8th September we are back at the John Craig Centre at the Bradford Academy for our disability football training sessions.

Contact nos: 

Paul Jubb 07845568226

Jaimie Dorward 07818515639

We put all our events on our social media.