Reading site manager’s pride at watching his son compete in amputee football World Cup
15 Nov 2022

Reading site manager’s pride at watching his son compete in amputee football World Cup

A Reading-based site manager was able to watch his son play in the amputee football World Cup after raising money to help his team make it to the tournament.

Dan Knowles, who oversees construction at Shinfield Meadows in Reading, where Vistry Group is building Bovis Homes and Linden Homes properties, set up an online appeal to help fund Germany’s participation in the event. His 17-year-old son Jamie – who was born with a bone missing in his left leg and had an amputation below the knee at the age of one – plays in midfield for the team.

Dan’s fundraising efforts were boosted by a £2,000 donation from his employer, Vistry Thames Valley, part of which sponsored shirts for the competition.

The World Amputee Football Federation (WAFF) World Cup took place in Turkey in October. Germany was placed in Group B with Japan, Mexico and Colombia, and despite not progressing from the group stage, the team had a great experience.

Dan said: “Myself, Jamie and the team are so thankful to everyone who put money towards them. The German team was invited to play in the tournament after Russia was disqualified, and they had to raise a lot of money quickly to go.

“I went to Turkey to support the team, and I was there for each game. There’s much more recognition for the sport in Turkey than there is here in the UK, and there were around 30,000 fans in the stadium watching the final between Turkey and Angola.

“I’m so proud of Jamie for making it to the World Cup. He started playing football at 12 years old, and he made his international debut at the European Championships in Poland last year on his 16th birthday.

“The team should be incredibly proud of their achievement – who knows where they’ll be in the next four years?”

Altogether, Dan helped to raise over £9,000 for the team to make it to the tournament. The entry fee alone was 5,000 Euros and money was also needed for flights and accommodation.

The World Amputee Football Federation promotes inclusion and support for those with amputations or limb defects. The game is played with outfield players participating on crutches, and goalkeepers being single arm deficient.

Trevor Wicks, managing director at Vistry Thames Valley, said: “When Dan came to me to ask if Vistry could donate towards sending his son’s team to the World Cup, I agreed straight away.

“At Vistry, we’re always looking to support our staff and their families, and I want to congratulate Jamie and the team for making it to the World Cup.”

The WAFF World Cup matches are available to watch on YouTube. More information can be found at https://waffworldcup2022.com/

Vistry Thames Valley is currently building properties under its Bovis Homes and Linden Homes brands at locations across Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey and Buckinghamshire.

For further information, visit www.bovishomes.co.uk 

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