Are you looking to play the beautiful game again and want to get your kicks from a sport that tests your skill and makes you part of a team?
Well amputee football is going to be right up your street.
What’s this then?
Amputee football is a lifeline for many people who have suffered limb loss, giving them the chance to meet and compete with others who have gone through similar experiences, and get back out on the pitch.
Who can play?
Teams are usually made up of six players and a goalkeeper. Outfield players must have lower extremity amputations, and goalkeepers may have an upper extremity amputation.
What’s the aim of the game?
The rules are very similar to football and the aim is simple – to outscore your opponent. Offside rules do not apply in amputee football but crazy goal celebrations are allowed.
Players may not use crutches to advance, control or block the ball. Such an action will be penalised in the same way as a hand-ball infringement. However, accidental contact between crutch and ball is allowed.
What do I need to play?
Outfield players use forearm crutches, and play without their prosthesis, the only exception being that bi-lateral amputees may play with their prosthesis. You’ll need a football boot or glove depending on your position in the team. Shin pads must be worn at all times.
Where can I play?
The Irwin Mitchell sponsored national league has affiliated teams from Arsenal, Everton, Peterborough, and Portsmouth in England and Limerick in Ireland.
Clubs are always looking for new players, and for newcomers not ready for a competitive game there are regional grassroots level teams in Oxford, London and Liverpool.
There are also junior sessions for young players who want to try the sport.
Anything else I need to know?
The England Amputee Football Association is always scouting for new players to represent their country for a number of tournaments including the World Cup.
We are proud sponsors of their league and also support Portsmouth Amputees, who are captained by Ray Westbrook.
How do I find out more?
The England Amputee Football Association's aim is to provide all amputees, people with congenital limb deficiencies and persons with restricted use of limbs, with the opportunity to play football locally, nationally and internationally.
Visit their website or the club sites to find out more about the sport.