Month: February 2019

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Jamie’s Story Inspires Cod Army To Back England’s Young Amputee Footballers

The inspirational story of a young footballer born with only one foot has led to Fleetwood Town chairman Andy Pilley backing England’s next generation of amputee players.

Jamie Oakey was born prematurely and weighing only 2lb 4oz after his mum Elaine was involved in a serious accident.

Fast forward 15 years and the Blackpool teenager has been named in the England Amputee FA’s Under-23 squad.

Jamie – who was born without a right foot and a short right leg – is also part of a group of junior players hoping to take part in an international training camp in Hoffenheim, Germany, in July.

To get there the young amputees and their families need raise £5,000 and so Jamie’s mum approached Fleetwood Town.

Chairman Andy Pilley was so moved by Jamie’s story he has not only offered financial support for the Germany training camp but is giving the England squad free use of the Cod Army’s state-of-the-art £9m Poolfoot Farm training base whenever they need it.

Andy said: “Jamie’s story is truly inspirational. When I heard about him and his team-mates, and then meeting his mum Elaine, I knew I just had to help.

“He is a local lad who has already achieved so much and so anything we can do to help him and his team-mates we’ll do it.

“I’m delighted to offer financial support for the Germany trip in July, but more importantly for me is to offer the England squad free use of our wonderful facilities here at Poolfoot anytime they need them.

“It was a privilege for me to meet Jamie and his mum and I wish the lads every success out in Germany. We cannot wait to welcome them here to Poolfoot in the future.”

As well as being part of the national squad Jamie is the youngest player ever selected to represent Everton FC in a Champions League match.

Proud mum Elaine said: “All these boys are totally amazing, inspirational superhumans who have overcome so much to be able to play the sport they love.

“The lads are amputees for various reasons, whether it be a birth defect, cancer or serious accident. They are truly remarkable, and nothing holds these kids back. However, due to funding limitations, players’ families need to raise money to meet travel and kit costs.

“I can’t thank Andy Pilley enough for his support. The donation for the Germany trip, which is a great opportunity for these young lads, together with the offer of the use of Fleetwood’s training ground, really means a lot – thank you Fleetwood Town!”

All national squads are supported by the England Amputee Football Association (EAFA), a registered charity, and the annual European training camp is co-ordinated by the European Amputee Football Federation (EAFF).

EAFA Chairman Steve Johnson said: “This is a fantastic social interaction opportunity for young amputees involved in our organisation to travel to Germany and meet other young amputees from various countries around Europe.

“I would like to thank Andy Pilley for his really generous donation towards this training camp to enable the young amputees to attend.”

The young amputee squad will also get to see Fleetwood Town in action as they have been invited to the Cod Army’s home game against Gillingham on March 2 – the club’s Junior Football Day which celebrates young grassroots players.

If you would like more information or to support the England Amputee Football Association visit www.theeafa.co.uk

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‘Dream Team’ Rose and Rimmer reunite in bid for titles

Champion boxer Brian Rose has teamed up with long-time coach and mentor Bobby Rimmer in his bid for titles.

The Blackpool middleweight is midway through a “punishing” training camp in California ahead of his eagerly-awaited return to the ring in April.

And Brian – who is sponsored by Fleetwood Town FC and club chairman Andy Pilley’s Lancashire-based businesses BES Utilities and Card Saver – is delighted to have Bobby back in his corner after a break of 18 months.

Brian said: “All my best moments in my career have come with Bobby by my side. He not only helps get me physically right, but mentally right and I’m delighted we are back together. I need him in my life, it’s the dream team!”

Brian and Bobby flew out to the States in January for an intensive eight-week training camp. They are based at Tiki Ghosn’s Huntington Beach Ultimate Training Centre where Brian is training alongside former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and Mixed Martial Arts Hall of Famer Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson.

Working with renowned strength coach Paul Herrera and nutritionist Eric Huerta, the hard work is already paying off.

Brian says he is now focused on returning to light middleweight, the division where he enjoyed most success in his illustrious career, which included a British championship and a fight for the WBO World Super Welterweight Title in 2014,

The boxer, who celebrates his 34th birthday today with another tough training session in the States, added: “It’s full on here, it’s punishing stuff. There is no time to celebrate my birthday.

“The reason I came here was to be taken out of my comfort zone. Being away from home and my family means I am totally focused. These last few weeks have shown me what I need to do and what levels I need to reach to be challenging for titles again.

“The facilities here are out of this world, there is everything I need. The training is very hard, but the focus and intensity are exactly what I need.

“I feel brilliant, the best I have in years, and I will be a force to be reckoned with when I get back in the ring.”

Bobby said he was delighted to again be coaching Brian full-time and believes the popular Lancashire fighter has a real shot at winning titles again.

He said: “I would not be here with Brian if I did not believe he had the hunger and desire to get back to the top. To make it as a top boxer you have to make so many sacrifices, especially at home, with your family and how you live your life.

“Brian is making these sacrifices because he wants to get back to be fighting at the very top. Since we’ve been here in California, we are starting to see the old, hungry Brian Rose again and it’s a joy to see.”

Brian returned to the ring last November with a points win over Alistair Warren. He is set to fight an, as yet, unnamed opponent in April.

Both Bobby and Brian praised the support from Fleetwood Town and Andy Pilley.

Brian said: “Without Andy and Fleetwood Town’s help none of this would be possible.

“He’s given me the opportunity to come here, safe in the knowledge everything is covered back home so I can concentrate on getting back to the level I know I am capable of reaching. The world’s my oyster with the backing and support of Andy and the Cod Army.”

Bobby added: “Brian’s sponsorship is brilliant and it means he gets access to amazing facilities, both at Fleetwood’s Poolfoot Farm training base and here in the States. Coming on training camps like this is going to make all the difference.”

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Fleetwood Town Chairman Pledges £10,000 To Help Tackle Bullying In Schools

Fleetwood Town FC have become the first national sponsor of a ground-breaking training programme aimed at tackling bullying in schools.

The League One club have joined forces with Human Behaviour Trainer and Success Coach, Norry Ascroft, by pledging £10,000 to enable the roll-out of an online teacher training program to 100 schools.

Norry started helping teachers, parents and children a decade ago after reading about a teenage girl who had committed suicide due to cyber bullying. This led him to start a campaign – MADD About Bullying, MADD standing for ‘Making A Direct Difference’.

He has now created an online teacher training programme which looks at the foundation of human behaviour together with strategies to tackle negative actions which can lead to bullying.

The MADD About Bullying programme has already been shared with 100 schools across Lancashire. Now, thanks to the £10,000 sponsorship from Fleetwood Town, another 100 schools in the North West will get access to the programme.

Norry said: “I can’t thank Fleetwood Town and their chairman Andy Pilley enough for their generosity which will make a direct difference in so many schools.

“We have had individuals sponsor up to 10 schools, but for Fleetwood Town to directly sponsor 100 is absolutely amazing. It’s even more special because Andy genuinely wants to help children reach their true potential.”

Andy, who together with his role at Fleetwood Town is managing director of Lancashire-based energy supplier BES Utilities and merchant service company Card Saver, said he was so moved by Norry’s passion for young people he had to get involved.

Andy said: “When you meet Norry you cannot help but be inspired by him and what he says. He is so passionate about wanting to help tackle bullying, which is not only an issue in schools but in many walks of life.

“Therefore, I’m delighted Fleetwood Town is able to team up with Norry and help roll out his excellent training programme to more schools across the North West. I believe Norry can make a real difference and so we are delighted to be his first national sponsor.” 

The MADD About Bullying training programme, which is presented through a series of engaging video modules, is funded entirely through sponsors and is delivered to schools free of charge.

Blackpool-based Norry, who says the course ‘psychologically gets to the root problem’, added: “Training teachers, parents and children, about the behaviour weaknesses that drive bullying is the only way we are going to make a real difference.

“Bullying is still the main reason behind our children’s low self-esteem, low confidence, and poor mental health. When a problem keeps getting worse you have to change your response to what is already being used. This course is different to what has already been used, and it has to be.“At the lowest level of bullying our children are being held back from reaching their true potential and, at worst, bullying is causing more mental health problems and an increase in teenage suicides. This is why I’m so passionate about the bullying problem.”

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