Wonder goal nets Pompey Amputees player Â£10k
Ray '˜Spike' Westbrook told of his delight after his stunning strike for Portsmouth Amputees FC netted Â£10,000 but insisted: I've scored better.
Competing in the FA People’s Cup in February, the England international rose to national stardom after his memorable effort against Swanscombe Tigers went viral.
And now, more than two million views later, he has been named as one of five runners up in Budweiser’s prestigious 2016 Dream Goal competition.
Westbrook hit the headlines after collecting a pass from team-mate Roger Whitehouse – while playing at full tilt on a pair of crutches – before skilfully cutting inside his man and firing home with the outside of his right foot.
The 34-year-old, who helped the Blues storm to victory in the competition’s adult disability category, thought nothing of it at the time.
But having seen his effort prove a massive hit on social media, the former News Sports Awards winner admitted he felt like a celebrity.
And with £10,000 for a non-league club of his choice and an FA training session on its way from Budweiser, Westbrook is delighted.
He said: ‘I didn’t even know I was a runner-up until The News phoned me and said – it is brilliant!
‘To win £10,000 on a scratchcard is a massive deal but for it to be from one of my goals, I am chuffed to bits.
‘To be fair it is not one of my best, I was just lucky it was on film.
‘Amputee football doesn’t really get filmed, it just happened to be the BBC were there filming for the FA People’s Cup and it all went a bit mental.
‘It went viral – it ended up having two million views!
‘Everyone I knew was telling me they had seen my goal.
‘It was like being a celebrity and a professional footballer for a week.’
Westbrook was forced to have his left leg amputated below the knee, aged 14.
Playing for local side Fleur De Lys, an innocuous tackle on his ankle triggered a cancerous growth, with the ramifications life changing.
The Cosham man, is not one for dwelling on the past, though, and he is now hopeful the cash he has earned can be put back into the Portsmouth Amputees FC side he helped set up in May 2015.
He said: ‘The rules say I can give the money to a non-league side of my choice, so hopefully that means I can give it to the Pompey Amputee side – we are basically a non-league side.
‘Just for my goal to be able to bring a bit of notice to amputee football is great and hopefully this might help to build our league and attract more players to our team!
‘It’s also great to know we have the opportunity for an FA coach to come down and help out our team – I am sure we will all enjoy that experience.’
n Pompey Amputees train at Park Community School in Havant every Tuesday night from 7.30 – 8.30pm, with new members always welcomed.