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Meet Philip Grace: Our client and member of the England Amputee Football Association

  • 25.07.2022
  • EmmaArnold
  • None

Potter Rees Dolan is delighted to announce the renewal of our sponsorship of professional footballer Philip Grace. Philip was selected to become a member of the England Amputee Football Association (EAFA) Senior Provisional Squad, ahead of the European Amputee Football Federation Championship in 2020. 

Philip’s story 

Philip suffered a serious injury resulting in the amputation of his right arm in January 2014. Philip worked at a recycling plant as a fabricator welder and had been tasked with repairing a hopper machine. The day before the accident took place, he was asked to carry out some maintenance work on the hopper machine during two 30-minute time periods when the plant would be brought to a halt for maintenance work the next day. 

However, Philip was then told that it would not be necessary to shut down the machine in order to carry out this work. During the reparation work, Philip lost his balance and put his hand out to steady himself. Sadly, Philip put his hand on a conveyor belt, which resulted in him being pulled into a tail-end roller. His right hand was immediately severed. 

Despite this traumatic experience, Philip has not let his life-changing injury get in the way of doing what he loves most - football! He has been an active member of the Everton FC Amputees team since September 2016, where he plays in goal: 

It was like a dream come true when I first put on the Everton kit - since that day, things have just got better and better. I must admit, it is a bit surreal visiting Everton's training ground and mixing with the first-team players - they are always happy to chat with you! I have also been lucky enough to win 'Player of the Year' for EFC Amputees twice, and both times the award was presented to me by players from the first team, which was fantastic.

I'd have to say my biggest achievements during my time with Everton have been winning the two league medals and, of course, the FA Disability Cup medal. As I always say, I am nothing without my teammates. They have helped me improve since day one and mixing with fellow amputees has been a major part of my rehabilitation, not just physically but mentally too - which brings me to my England selection! I have to thank my Everton teammates for all of their support. I was so made up when I got the call-up and my family are so proud of me, especially my son!

I know it is going to be a lot of hard work, with plenty of training, and some sacrifices will have to be made along the way - but this is a lifetime opportunity (and I am not getting any younger!) so I couldn’t waste this chance! The whole experience so far has been incredible.”

Amputee football

Both the Everton Amputee team and EAFA depend on sponsorships, donations and fundraising to keep the teams going and to be able to compete in some fantastic tournaments, like the European Amputee Football Federation EAFF Champions League.

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 a similar experience.

Everton FC Amputees is managed by EitC disability manager and former World Amputee Footballer of the Year, Steve Johnson. The team gives all amputees, as well as people with congenital limb deficiencies and persons with restricted use of limbs, the opportunity to play football. 

We are proud to support Philip in his footballing endeavours and wish him the best in his sporting career - we’ll be cheering him from the stands!