It's not every day that you get to share the pitch with your idol
Sussex County FA Disability Representative player James Smith now shares the pitch with his childhood hero Lee Farrell.
James is a huge fan of his local side Horsham admired ex-striker Lee Farrell as a child.
Back in December 2007 he attended The FA Cup Second Round Replay between Swansea City and Horsham at the Liberty Stadium where he witnessed his hero score twice in what ended as a 6-2 defeat against the now Football League side.
Farrell’s terrific performance that night had a huge impact on thirteen-years-old James, he was inspired to go on achieve as much as he possibly could in football.
Farrell, who currently plays for Brighton Deaf FC had a great career playing for the likes of Horsham and Lewes, he also represented Great Britain at the Deaflympics which took place in Melbourne, scoring a last-minute winner to secure the Gold medal.
Eleven-years later and James, who has a mental health illness, was selected to represent the Sussex County FA’s Disability Squad in the Quarter-Finals of the South East Regional 11v11 Disability Cup, alongside his idol Lee Farrell.
Pam Chandler, Sussex County FA Disability Representative Joint Manager said: “It’s every players dream to play in the same team as someone they grew up watching.
“Lee had to overcome a lot of barriers to achieve what he has in the game, and it’s something that inspires many within our own team, he is a fantastic role model for them.
“James thoroughly deserved his call up to the squad, and it was an unforgettable moment for him to meet and play alongside Lee.
“Lee was incredibly humble; he took the time to speak to James and his family, who were in the stands supporting the team, making it a memorable occasion for all!”
For further information on Disability Football in Sussex please contact Development:
T: 01903 766855