DUNDEE UNITED LAUNCHES AMPUTEE FOOTBALL TEAM IN WAKE OF ONE-LEGGED TOMMY’S WONDER GOAL
Dundee United, through Dundee United Community Trust, is to become the first club in the east of Scotland to launch an amputee football team, thanks to charity Amputee Football Association Scotland and a historic super strike from Dundee’s own one-legged man, Tommy McKay.
In the spotlight
Awareness around amputee football rocketed in Scotland when Dundee’s one-legged man Tommy McKay (32) scored a wonder goal in the #HomeAdvantage half time challenge against Dunfermline at Tannadice in November 2016. The clip of his super strike was viewed by more than TWO MILLION people on social media, putting the plight of new charity, Amputee Football Association Scotland (AFAS), into the limelight – an organisation for which Tommy has since become an invaluable ambassador.
Tommy, who lost his leg at nine years old to bone cancer, subsequently scooped the highly coveted SPFL Goal of the Month award, presented to him by his hero, Dundee United gaffer Ray McKinnon, and he was invited to enjoy a training session with the first team at Tannadice.
Having put the sport in the spotlight, Dundee United Community Trust hooked up with Scotland’s amputee football charity, AFAS, to host a taster session in May paving the way for a team in the East.
Until now, there has been only one amputee football team in Scotland, namely Partick Thistle Amputees in Glasgow, where Tommy has trained fortnightly for the last nine months. The team was set up by AFAS, the charity launched in October 2016 to develop the sport north of the border. While provision is made for disability football of varying disciplines by the Scottish Football Association (SFA), amputee football had not previously existed in Scotland.
Tommy McKay commented:
“I’m absolutely delighted to see amputee football come to my home club. It’ll be like a dream come true if I can pull on the Dundee United shirt. I’ve been training with Partick Thistle all year and have made some terrific friends and team mates, but there was no question as to where my loyalty lay when the opportunity came up to train here at Dundee United.
“Amputee football has been life changing for me since I began playing last year. I’m getting fitter, playing a game I love and my kids can finally see their dad being active again. It’s great to be closely involved with AFAS and to be able to be an ambassador for the growth of the game and I’d encourage anyone with an amputation to come and give it a try.”
Jamie Kirk, Head of Operations at Dundee United Community Trust, commented:
“We’re excited to be working with Amputee Football Association Scotland to bring the sport to the east of Scotland. When Tommy scored his wonder goal at Tannadice last year, it put the spotlight on disability football, something we are hugely passionate about at Dundee United Community Trust and we’re proud to be the first club in the east of Scotland to launch a team.”
Ashley Reid, CEO and founder of Amputee Football Association Scotland, commented:
“Since the taster session with Dundee United Community Trust earlier this year, we’ve had quite a number of individuals traveling from Dundee to attend training in Glasgow. Therefore it was the obvious next step to take the sport east. We already have a strong relationship with the team at Dundee United Community Trust, who have embraced the chance to introduce amputee football.
“Amputee football is a new discipline in Scotland so to see our player numbers grow so rapidly in such a short time is testament to the demand that exists for the sport. We are appealing for more players to come forward to try the sport when training kicks off in the Autumn.”
Anyone with an upper or lower amputation or limb difference interested in playing amputee football can find out more at www.amputeefootballscotland.co.uk or contact Ashley Reid at Amputee Football Association Scotland. Please also look out for more updates from Dundee United Community Trust about upcoming open training sessions.