A West Leeds football team for deaf people is hoping to raise £10,000 to enable them to compete in the Champions League in Poland this summer.
Farsley Celtic Deaf FC have qualified to compete for the deaf champions league title in Warsaw, Poland between 26 June and 1 July 2023.
It is estimated that this trip will cost in excess of £20,000 to get the team over there, and pay for hotel, food, transport, training kit and physio costs.
The club, who appeared live on BT Sport last summer when they won the EDF League Championship Final, has launched a £10,000 fundraiser to cover some of the costs – and are appealing for people’s help.
Assistant manager Matt Dixon said: “We have over 30 players registered in our hearing and deaf league squads. All of them are deaf. For many of the players who join us, it is their first time interacting with other deaf people.
“Many have felt isolated while attempting to play for hearing teams and end up leaving feeing frustrated and deflated. It is truly wonderful to witness young people be liberated and finally feel part of something that they genuinely fit in to, mixing with like minded people who understand them.
“Farsley Celtic is a family, all with different levels of deafness and communication methods. By being a part of the team they finally feel at home within a football club, where they feel they belong.”
Farsley Celtic Deaf have five players representing England Deaf Men, Joe Dixon, Harry Boorman, Will Palmer, Cavell Donaldson and Henry Bowe. Both Hashim Mahmood and Charlie Parker-Fairbaine are part of the England Development squad.
Matt added: “The boys are ready to give this their best shot and hope to be crowned as champions of Europe. The boys know this is a self funded trip, most of them are students or in low income jobs.
“We desperately need your help to fulfill their dream, the more money we raise via our Go Fund Me campaign, the lower the cost will be for the players themselves.
“FCDFC is run by volunteers, not one person involved receives any income. I’m one of the volunteers, I joined the club three years ago as a goal keeper for the hearing league games, then as goalkeeper coach and I now help out as team interpreter and assistant manager for Kris Burns, the gaffer!
“If you can help in anyway it will be greatly appreciated, with your help we can try and bring the trophy back to Yorkshire!”
The fundraiser can be found here.
Farsley Celtic Deaf won the England Deaf Football North league for the third time and last June won the overall championship by beating St John’s FC 3-2 in a thrilling final which was shown live on BT Sport. This was the first time a deaf football match had been shown on mainstream TV.
Farsley Celtic Deaf FC’s is in its seventh season, having changed from being ‘Leeds Deaf FC’. The side is under Farsley Celtic FC’s umbrella to share resources to safeguard and progress the club’s long-term future.