Journey of James Middlehurst
Wed 01 March 2017
Case studies and success stories
Football Journey of James Middlehurst
2017 has already been such a busy year for us - growing our Head Office team, appearing on national news and growing our franchise network - that we have not been able to congratulate a very special footballer .... James Middlehurst.
During Chelsea's annual Christmas visit to the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, they met James and it was there he explained to them that he plays for Great Britain's Junior Amputee football team where he feels like 'the best player in the world'. The Chelsea coaches and players noticed James' infectious positive attitude and his perseverance as a footballer. James also got to meet his favourite Chelsea player, David Luiz. They invited James back to their Cobham training grounds to hang out with the coaches and player and it was here that James was reunited with idol David.
James' beginnings went back to when his brother, Tom, attended We Make Footballers at the Green School, Isleworth. James, at the time, did not play football but, after some persuading, our coaches, Joe Debayo and Marcelo Graca, convinced James to give it a go. James continued to prosper at WMF, even taking constructive criticism from the coaches. It was from this starting point that he began his journey to the GB amputee football team.
Football coaching has a unique ability to make differences in the lives of young footballers. At WMF we do our best to help boys and girls develop confidence, make friends and get fitter and, no matter what a child may be going through outside WMF, we ensure when they arrive at our training, they can expect to be treated with equal care and attention.
Our most important job is making sure every child feels comfortable, welcomed and at home at our training. We believe it was this approach which helped James get started in football and we are delighted he continues to build a scrapbook of memories as he progresses on his football journey.
Most recently James has joined Chelsea's (u8s-u12s) Pan-Disability squad and had his first match.