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Disability Fund helping Gaye's football dreams

28 Dec 2018

England hopes of 14-year-old cerebral palsy footballer have been lifted by Watford and PL/BT Disability Fund

Cerebral palsy footballer Hamidou Gaye has always dreamt big.

"When I was little, I was sitting down with my family, watching the football, and I told them that one day I will play for England and represent my country," the 14-year-old says.

"My physiotherapist was telling me I should play for a cerebral palsy football team. I went home and I researched it and luckily found Watford."

Gaye started disability sessions run by Watford FC's Community Sports and Education Trust in October last year.

With the help and encouragement from Watford and the Premier League/BT Disability Fund, he has made massive progress.

He represented Watford Talent Hub last season and was also part of the team who played in last month's Premier League/BT Disability Football Festival in Manchester.

"He is an amazing lad," says Watford's Talent Hub lead Ben Simms. "He wants the best for his family, his friends and he always puts himself second.

"He has made football a massive part of his life. He is one of the most improved players and continues to grow as a person through an increase in confidence and enthusiasm."

Gaye is one of more than 25,000 people whose participation in sport has been helped by the Disability Fund since it began in 2016.

"The PL/BT Disability programme has been absolutely fantastic," says Ben. "It's enabled us to cast our net a bit wider and go into areas that are maybe a bit harder to reach for us normally.

"To come together as a team like they have done, especially in fixtures, and to want each other to do better, and the camaraderie that they have got as a group, is absolutely fantastic."

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