Amputee footballers in Portsmouth are ‘inspirational’ says England legend John Barnes

Former England star John Barnes with players from Portsmouth Amputee FC. From left, Michael Beel, Roger Whitehouse, John Barnes, Gary Marheineke and Mike Gays
Former England star John Barnes with players from Portsmouth Amputee FC. From left, Michael Beel, Roger Whitehouse, John Barnes, Gary Marheineke and Mike Gays
rw images from Simon Hart


From: Simon Hart <southsea2006@yahoo.co.uk>

Even though George V proclaimed all German titles were to be given up by his family a century ago (July 17 1917), there is still physical evidence in our city of the Germanic royal house that once existed. Two commemoration stones relating to members of the royal house previous to the House of Windsor are so readily a part of the fabric of our daily lives but are probably in the most part overlooked.

A walk along Queen Street and on the corner with Aylward Street will present a building with a foundation stone that was laid by HRH Princess Henry of Battenberg in 1912. This was the married title of Queen Victoria's daughter Beatrice which was relinquished on 14 July 1917. From 17 July 1917 she was known as HRH the Princess Beatrice.

A visit to Sainsburys foyer in Commercial Road will provide the opportunity to see a commemoration stone for the opening of the Child's Ward of the Royal Hospital in 1909 by HH Princess Victoria of Schleswig

Four arrested after police crackdown in Commercial Road

  • Ex-Liverpool winger joins training session of city team
  • He said he was stunned by the quality of football being played
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AMPUTEE footballers in Portsmouth have been hailed ‘inspirations’ by England legend John Barnes.

The former Liverpool and England winger joined a special training session of Portsmouth Amputee FC.

Barnes, who won 79 caps, said he was stunned by the skills shown by the disabled sportsmen.

‘The Portsmouth guys are an inspiration and I’m definitely going to be a fan from now on,’ he said.

‘The football they are producing is amazing and we had a great time sharing our football stories and practising penalties.’

The 52-year-old star was visiting the club as part of the Don’t Quit Do It disability sport campaign run by law firm and Pompey sponsor Irwin Mitchell.

John Barnes with Mike Beel and Gary Marheineke

John Barnes with Mike Beel and Gary Marheineke

He shared some of his famous footballing stories with the squad and joined in with penalty shootouts, even recreating one of his famous England goals.

But it wasn’t just looking back at the past. Barnes and the team also spoke about who they felt were the hot favourites to win the Euros this year.

Ray Westbrook of Portsmouth Amputee FC was at the session and said: ‘It was great to meet John Barnes.

‘He’s someone that we’ve all seen on TV scoring goals for England and for him to take time out to come and train with us is a massive boost for the lads.

He’s someone that we’ve all seen on TV scoring goals for England and for him to take time out to come and train with us is a massive boost for the lads

Ray Westbrook, Portsmouth Amputee FC

‘I think, like most people who see us play, he was surprised by the standard that we are at and he was able to give us some tips about how we play.

‘He told us some great stories and we talked about the Euros.’

Portsmouth Amputee FC plays in the English Amputee Football Association which is looking to grow in the next few years.

There are currently six teams across the UK competing in the league which is becoming more and more competitive each year.

The team hopes that some of the tips offered by Barnes will help them in their upcoming season.

Speaking about the Don’t Quit Do It campaign, the ex-England star added: ‘The Don’t Quit Do It campaign is really important and I hope more people can get involved in participating or supporting disability sports.

‘I’ve seen from spending time with the amputee football team how much it has helped them both as individuals and as a group.’

The campaign is run by Irwin Mitchell, which has offices across the UK including in Southampton. It says its injury lawyers see the benefits disability sport can have in clients’ rehabilitation and recovery from injuries.