2023 FA Disability Cup Finals
The FA Disability Cup in association with EE, returns for the seventh edition of the tournament, over 24th and 25th June at St. George’s Park.
The finals, which are the largest competition of its kind, ensure players within impairment-specific football have a national FA competition to call their own with a total of six disciplines competing: Partially Sighted, Amputee, Blind, Cerebral Palsy, Powerchair and Deaf.
Fans attended the finals and cheer the players on from St. George’s Park and also had the opportunity to visit the Experience Area, where there will be equipment and adaptions to simulate some of the formats of disability football showcased throughout the finals weekend.
The Experience Area encourages attendees, and more specifically disabled individuals, to engage and participate in football. The taster sessions are linked to Football Your Way, a ground-breaking plan for Disability Football. Part of the three-year plan aims to grow participation, increase the number and quality of coaches, develop an inclusive and diverse talent pathway, build support for elite players, and raise the profile of disability football at every level.
2023 FA DISABILITY CUP FINAL RESULTS:
Partially Sighted Cup Final: Merseyside Blind & V.I FC 1 - 2 Scorpions FC
Amputee Cup Final: Everton 4 - 2 Portsmouth
Blind Cup Final: Brighton & Hove Albion 1 -0 The Royal National College for the Blind
Cerebral Palsy Cup Final: North East and Yorkshire CP 4-0 Norwich City CSF
Powerchair Cup Final: Aspire 2-0 Newcastle United Foundation
Deaf Cup Final: Farsley Celtic 0-3 St. John’s
All matches were streamed live on BT Sport over the weekend, with highlights being shown on Channel4 and available on 4oD.
SATURDAY, 24TH JUNE: DAY ONE REPORT
Partially Sighted Cup Final
Merseyside Blind & V.I FC 1-2 Scorpions FC
It was Scorpions Futsal Club who lifted the first trophy of the FA Disability Cup weekend after an enthralling 2-1 win over Merseyside Blind & V.I FC.
Scorpions took the lead after five minutes when an impressive set-piece move and through ball from England international Adam Lione allowed Daniel Angus to score with an exquisite back-hell flick.
Captain Tom Lamb, who has been capped more than 40 times by England, said: “It is unbelievable. It is what you have worked for. “Having opportunities like this as a disabled athlete, it is unbelievable. To get this opportunity on this stage, in front of the BT Sport cameras and all the other promotion that comes with it, it is unbelievable for our game and the other disability games.”
EE Player of the Match: Tom Lamb
Amputee Cup Final
Everton 4 - 2 Portsmouth
Everton edged a thrilling Amputee Cup Final 4-2 at St. George’s Park’s 3G pitch after a frantic second half. Everton took the lead on 23 minutes with a moment of magic, as Rhyce Ramsden flicked the ball over the defender’s head, Liam Burbridge back-heeled the ball back into his path and Ramsden applied the finish.
Portsmouth reduced the deficit moments later when TJ Yates scored following a smart turn but Everton went straight down the other end and made it 3-1 through Dave Tweed.
Speaking to BT Sport after the game, Tweed said: “It has been a big week, especially for the England Amputee lads who came back from the Nations League as champions. That winning mentality has come through in today’s performance.”
He continued: “We know Pompey and their quality. We came in really relaxed and we have been building towards a performance like this for 18 months now, it hasn’t been a turn-up and take each game as it comes – we deliberately have been playing to create an ethos and a style of play and it is really working.”
EE Player of the Match: Rhyce Ramsden
Blind Cup Final
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 -0 The Royal National College for the Blind
Brighton & Hove Albion ensured there would be a new name on the trophy as they beat Royal National College for the Blind 1-0 at St. George’s Park. It was a first half which was largely dominated by two players: Brighton’s Hamad Ebrahim and RNC’s Rainbow Mbunagi.
Ebrahim said: “I am happy with my goal. For the defence, it is difficult to secure a victory when you only have one goal, so I am really happy we won. “This is the first time I have attended the FA Disability Cup and the opposition was difficult, so it was tough to score.
EE Player of the Match: Hamad Ebrahim
All the action from day one can be seen here.
SUNDAY, 25TH JUNE: DAY TWO REPORT
After an action-packed first day, Sunday saw the return of the 2023 FA Disability Cup with another three finals at St. George Park.
Cerebral Palsy Cup Final
North East and Yorkshire CP 4-0 Norwich City CSF
North East and Yorkshire CP made it three consecutive FA Disability Cup titles with an impressive 4-0 win over league champions Norwich City.
Captain Dan Dalby said: “When we were younger, there was nothing like this to push us into CP football. “I hope there will be a lot of young lads watching today who will see this and aim to push themselves through the pathway. “We have North East & Yorkshire level but then you have the England level and you can get paid for playing cerebral palsy football now.”
EE Player of the Match: Jack Fox Hockney
Powerchair Cup Final
Aspire 2-0 Newcastle United Foundation
An emotional Jon Bolding dedicated Aspire’s fourth FA Disability Cup title to his deceased father John Snr after he scored both goals during the 2-0 victory over Newcastle United. Newcastle defended resolutely for the opening half an hour as Aspire struggled to find a way through some impressive defending.
Bolding, who was wearing a vest with a picture of his father on it, said: “I lost my dad last year and he followed me everywhere, so this is for him and the whole season was for him. “Also the fans behind us, and our family and friends. We couldn’t be here without them so a massive thank you to them as they continue to support us wherever we go.
EE Player of the Match: Jon Bolding
Deaf Cup Final
Farsley Celtic 0-3 St. John’s
St John’s became national deaf champions after securing revenge against Farsley Celtic following the agonising defeat they suffered 12 months ago. Last year’s Deaf final at the FA Disability Cup was won by Farsley Celtic through a last-minute winner but St John’s left little to chance on the 3G pitch at St. George’s Park with a dominant display.
EE Player of the Match: Oliver Manoochehri
All the action from day two can be seen here.
Images cortesy of Getty Images:
Nathan Stirk - The FA / Contributor