North East & Yorkshire Disability FC Victorious In National Cerebral Cup
A disability football team are celebrating after winning a national cup competition with a last-minute winner.
North East & Yorkshire Disability FC were victorious in the 2021-22 National Cerebral Palsy Cup - with scorer Joe McKechnie netting his first goal in four years in the final game of the competition against Norwich.
The victory means the team will now compete in the FA Disability Cup Final weekend in June against the winners of the Cerebral Palsy Football League.
The FA Disability Cup final is the showpiece event for disability football in the UK. The cup competition gives the clubs that are involved the chance to highlight their development and promote their own journey to the final, while also helping to raise awareness of the opportunities available within their own specific sport or leagues at a number of different levels.
The North Yorkshire-based club has a senior and junior team. The senior team is made up of players with cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury or who have suffered a stroke. The junior squad is made up of players with a range of disabilities and is no longer cerebral palsy specific. Both teams are open to anyone across the North East and North Yorkshire catchment area who are eligible to join. It is sponsored by national law firm Irwin Mitchell with Sarah Coles and her teams in Leeds and Newcastle offering local support.
Saturday’s victory continues a successful season for NEYD. They are currently in second place in the National CP League – winning three, drawing one and losing one of their first five games with five games left to play in the current season.
In Saturday’s cup, at the University of Northampton, they drew their first game with Derby 0-0. They then beat Brighton 4-0. Chelsea 1-0. In their final game NEYD needed to beat Norwich, doing so 1-0.
After the team hit the woodwork on four occasions in the match, Joe curled a shot into the top corner in the final minute to lift the trophy.
Joe, who is also an inclusive sports community officer for Hambleton Council added: “Norwich had won their three previous games that day so only had to avoid defeat to win the trophy. As the game went on we started to think it wasn’t going to be our day but when the ball fell to me in the final minute I thought there was nothing to lose so went for goal.
“I’m not really known for my goals so I think there was a bit of shock when the ball went in. If you’re going to go so long without a goal, a last minute winner in the national cup isn’t a bad way to break your drought.
“We’re thrilled at the victory and that we’ll now get the opportunity to compete in the FA Disability Cup.
“We’re so thankful for all of the help and sponsorship we receive to keep going. It means that we can compete in events like Saturday’s cup competition.”
NEYD are organising friendlies against two veterans teams on Saturday. The games will be played at their training venue at York Sports Village and kick off between 9.30am and11.30am in their normal training slot.
The senior and junior team train Saturdays at York sports Village in York 9:30am and 11:30am and is
affiliated to Copmanthorpe Football club as part of their disability football provision.
More information on NEYD can be found at the club’s Facebook page or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Find our more about our commitment to disability sport at our Don't Quit Do It section. Alternatively find out more about our expertise in supporting people and families with cerebral palsy and other injuries at our dedicated medical negligence section.
“We believe in building strong links in the communities around our northern offices in which we work and we’ve seen on numerous occasions how sport has been able to help our clients with rehabilitation following serious injury.
“North East & Yorkshire Disability FC are a great organisation who really promote the benefits of sport and we’re delighted at their cup win.
“We hope that their victory helps inspire others to take up activities or pursuits that may interest them. They’re proof that disability need not to be a barrier to sport.”
Sarah Coles - Partner