Wolves Disability FC to play on the pitch this Sunday

Wolves Disability FC to play on the pitch this Sunday Image

One of the huge highlights of Wolves Foundation’s Annual Focus Fixture – the half time fixture featuring Wolves Disability FC – is back again for this Sunday’s game against Sheffield United.

Wolves Disability Under-16s will take on their counterparts from Sheffield United, following on from some fantastic fixtures enjoyed by the Molineux crowds in recent years.

Previous games against Cardiff, Aston Villa, Norwich and Chelsea have been both eagerly anticipated and savoured by all involved – and this weekend is expected to be no different.

“We have now been running Disability football with the Foundation for over 10 years, and in recent years in particular it has gone from strength to strength,” says Gavin Jones, community and cohesion officer with the Foundation who now oversees the Disability FC set-up.

“The first game we played at half time, against Cardiff back in 2019, produced such a fantastic response from the fans and it’s been great to see the increased interest which has followed as a result.

“The different teams put in a great amount of work in training and fixtures during the season, but this is always a big highlight for those who get to play at Molineux.

“Hopefully it will be another great spectacle on Sunday and another fantastic opportunity to showcase a really important part of the Foundation’s work.”

Wolves Disability FC continue to operate a total of eight teams across three different age groups – adults, Under-16s and Under-12s – with weekly training sessions and regular fixtures in the Staffordshire FA Ability Counts League.

Earlier this week the Disability FC set-up were delighted to announce a new sponsorship being provided by Nuffield Health, the UK’s largest healthcare charity.  This will prove a major show of support for the club moving forward.

A couple of Disability FC players who have previously featured in the half time fixture have no doubt just what it will mean to players from players of both sides when they take to the pitch on Sunday.

“What an experience!” reflects Darren James, who captained the team against Norwich at the end of the 2021/22 season.

“I still remember the goosebumps and the hairs standing up on the back of my neck when stepping out on the pitch and hearing the crowd singing.

“That is something that will stick with me forever.

“I remember a couple of minutes into the game and just having time to think and realise that the fans were singing songs for us – it made me quite emotional to be honest.

“Even now, I sometimes find myself looking back at old social media posts from people I don’t know talking about that game and the disability team – Wolves fans are the best fans in the world as far as I am concerned!

“They enjoyed it and they got behind us and I think they can see the club has depth.  It’s not just the men’s first team but also the women’s team, the different age groups and us with Wolves Disability.

“There are opportunities for everyone and this was one opportunity I would never have got if it wasn’t for Wolves Foundation.”

Last year’s Focus Fixture saw Wolves Under-16s take on Chelsea, an experience made even better for midfielder Cameron when he notched the winning goal!

“When we were walking onto the pitch I had butterflies in my stomach, but I was also very happy and excited,” Cameron recalls.

“It was nice to play on the Molineux pitch and even more amazing to score the winning goal.

“I like to think I play more of a Mario Lemina role going from box to box so to be able to actually get forward and score was a really nice surprise!

“It was great that the fans were so interested in what we were doing and I can remember they made a lot of noise.

“Without the Disability team I would never have had the chance to step on the Molineux pitch – I am so glad to have Wolves Foundation and be able to play football here.

“I have also been able to play at the training ground at Compton and St George’s Park which also makes me really happy.”

Sunday provides another opportunity to create more magical moments for all the young players involved – stay in your seats to watch at half time!

"Of course it’s so important to give back to the community and Wolverhampton as a whole. It's great to be here and to show our support."

Maximilian Kilman | Wolves Captain and Foundation Ambassador

"As a lifelong Wolves fan, to represent the Club and Foundation is something I'll cherish forever."

Daz James | Wolves Disability FC

"Without Wolves Foundation I wouldn't be here today, that's for certain."

John Martin | Head 4 Health participant

"It is amazing to be out there meeting people and having some fun. It is really important for Wolves to have this connection with the fans and to see the happiness in their faces."

Toti Gomes | Wolves Defender

"Savannah absolutely loves the group. The staff are committed to making every single session fun and welcoming."

Natasha | Healthy Goals parent

"It’s special because it's my club and I’m so proud to be from Wolves as well. I can see the projects and all the work Wolves Foundation are doing and I know it makes such an impact, so to even be a little part of that and to help out where I can – it's so exciting."

Amber Sandhu | Broadcaster and Foundation Ambassador

"It’s huge for the school, I can’t speak highly enough of Wolves Foundation and the opportunities that they give us."

Mr Robinson | Woodsetton School

“I think all football clubs should be the beating heart of their communities and Wolves, through the Foundation, manages to do that."

Johnny Phillips | Sky Sports Presenter and Foundation Ambassador

"We get loads of different opportunities with a Premier League club. I feel really privileged to be a part of it."

Mustafa | Football & Education College Academy student

"Frank has Alzheimer’s Disease and when he was first diagnosed we felt lost and alone. Attending Molineux Memories is a lifeline for both of us; it is run by friendly, committed staff who ensure that everyone is included and enjoys themselves."

Frank and Alison | Molineux Memories

"To come here and be hands on with the kids is unreal. Working with Wolves and the Foundation is a blessing and I'm honoured. It feels surreal sometimes but it's the best feeling."

S-X | Music Producer and Foundation Ambassador

"It's good to give back what you got. Football and the Wolves Foundation help me, so I like to help the community."

Taye | Premier League Kicks

"Wolves is a fantastic football club, and they’re excelling off the pitch as well with all the brilliant community work that the Foundation does. The passion of the coaches and the opportunities to play are amazing."

Jack Rutter | Former Great Britain Paralympian and Foundation Ambassador

"Wolves has definitely helped my personal development, but now also helps me to develop people I work with. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the opportunities Wolves Foundation have given me."

Carl Ackasovs | Wolves Foundation

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