Amputee football tournament starts in Limerick

Simon Baker, left, from Limerick, is tackled by James Boyle from Donegal during a training session. Picture: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
MORE than 100 amputee footballers from across Europe will descend on Limerick this weekend for a two-day football tournament unlike any other.

MORE than 100 amputee footballers from across Europe will descend on Limerick this weekend for a two-day football tournament unlike any other.

Six countries will battle it out on the pitch for the Paddy Power Cup in the University of Limerick, with the aim of raising the profile of amputee footballers and amputee athletes in general. This will be the first International Amputee Football tournament ever played in Ireland, even though amputee football has been growing for more than 20 years in America.

“We’re doing this because we want to get rid of the disability label and be seen as serious sports people. We’re serious athletes, not just amputees. We want to showcase who are we,” Simon Baker, chairman of the Irish Football Amputee Association, told the Limerick Leader. The president of the World Amputee Football Association is travelling from America to see what Limerick has to offer their athletes, and it’s hoped that the amputee football World Cup will to Limerick in 2018.