Peterborough United Amputees have become national champions after defeating much fancied Manchester City.
The team, which sits within the Posh Foundation and is sponsored by the charity Free Kicks Foundation, triumphed in the finals of the England Amputee Football League after qualifying from the Southern section.
After defeating Northern runners-up Everton 3-2, having twice fallen behind, after a short break the club took on undefeated City at Boldmere St Michael’s FC, Sutton Coldfield.
Posh took an early lead but found themselves 2-1 down in the second-half. However, the team fought back to win 4-2 in a tense encounter.
Manager Teilo Pearce said victory was a “significant achievement”, with Everton having won the league for the past two seasons and competed in the Champions League.
Posh had three under 18s in the side on Saturday and another two who were in their first season of amputee football, but Teilo said: “Fortunately we had the right balance in terms of being able to support them with experienced players from previous seasons.”
The team will now have the honour next year of competing in the FA Disability Cup against Arsenal at St George’s Park.
Amputee footballer is a seven-a-side format with no offside. Goalkeeper remain in the area, while kick-ins are used instead of throw-ins.
There are no sliding tackles and the crutch is considered an extension of the arm so is deemed to be handball.
International rules also state that players with one arm can only be a goalkeeper and players with one leg can be an outfielder.
The squad for the final
Players who played during the season but were not present for the final
Ben Fox and Darren Mitchell.
Mike, Gary and Harry have just been included in the England provisional squad for the upcoming season which leads to the European Championships. Harry, Nathan, Chris and Connor have also spent time training with the England U23 squad.
Mark has won Britain’s strongest disabled man twice and has also triumphed at the Arnold Strongest Classic in Ohio - a competition created by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Anyone looking to join the club can email participation manager Gavin Slater at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The club can also be contacted through its Facebook and Twitter pages.