10:50am Friday 24th January 2014
By Tyrone Marshall
A BURNLEY student has seen a dream come true after being selected to play for the Manchester United Deaf Football Team.
George Stockton, a second year undergraduate at UCFB Burnley, was picked from thousands of hopefuls to play for the Premiership giant's side.
The 20-year-old now plays in the Great Manchester Ability Counts League in front of crowds of up to 1,000 fans.
He said: “I have always been a huge football fan so to get to play for a team like this is amazing.
“The summer was filled with football as I trained with Team GB’s deaf team and it has been a really good grounding for joining this team and for learning what is expected of players.
“I have ambitions to play for Team GB in the future, so this is an opportunity for me to continue training and build upon the foundations made over the summer. I love going to watch live football so to play to a crowd of this size will be a dream come true.”
Part of the Manchester United Foundation, George’s appointment to the team follows a summer of training with the Team GB Deaf Men’s football team.
The football department of the foundation is based at Cliff Training Ground, where the likes of Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best, and more recently, Eric Cantona and David Beckham, would all have trained under the watchful eye of Sir Matt Busby or Sir Alex Ferguson.
Teams include an under 14s pan-disability team, two under 16 pan-disability teams, a seven-a-side deaf only adult team and an 11-a-side deaf only adult team, with plans for a girls under 16s team next season.
George is studying for a degree in Football Business and Finance at UCFB after completing a BTEC National Diploma in sport at Gloucestershire College.
Philip Wilson, provost and chief executive at UCFB Burnley and Wembley, said: “It is fantastic when students are recognised for their love of football not only within the walls of UCFB, but also in their life beyond their academic commitments.
“George’s love of the game has translated well into his studies and it is great that his commitment is also being recognised on the pitch.”
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