Wolves Disability FC to return to Molineux this weekend

It is just over three years ago that Wolves Disability FC took on Cardiff during half time of the Premier League fixture at Molineux – and the crowd went wild!

Wolves Disability FC under-16s then welcomed Aston Villa for a fixture during half time of another top-flight game the following season and now, on Sunday, after an enforced break due to the pandemic, the Disability team are back gracing the hallowed turf.

The visit of Norwich for the final home game of the season is Wolves Foundation’s annual focus fixture and the adult Disability team will be taking on their Canaries’ counterparts on the Molineux pitch at half time.

It will be the perfect end to a first season in the Staffordshire FA Ability Counts League for Wolves Disability FC, sponsored by Energy Angels, who have won four trophies across the adult, under-16 and under-12 age groups.

“The teams have done so well this season and getting to play on the Molineux pitch again will be another great occasion before we hold our final training session and presentation night the following week,” says Gavin Jones, inclusion lead with Wolves Foundation and team coach of Wolves Disability FC.

“We are really appreciative of Norwich sending a team up for the fixture and both teams have that much depth that we are also staging a game in the Aldersley Arena in the morning so that everyone gets a chance to play.

“We have a great relationship with our colleagues at Norwich Community Sports Foundation – we travelled to play in their Canary Cup competition last summer and will be doing so again this year.

“For us, everyone still talks about that first fixture we had on the pitch against Cardiff, it had such an impact on everyone involved and disability football within the Foundation has grown immeasurably since that day.

“One of our key players now for the adult team is Daz (Darren James), and he is probably only involved because he was sat in the stand for that Cardiff game and contacted us afterwards asking how he could join.

“He loves being part of the set-up and on Sunday he will be out on the pitch as part of the team playing against Norwich – so it really has come full circle!

“It will be another incredible experience for all the players involved and hopefully the fans will get right behind them just as they did for those games with Cardiff and Aston Villa.”

Darren, very proud of his Wolverhampton roots, has been a Wolves fan since attending the Sherpa Van Trophy final win against Burnley at Wembley back in 1988.

Born with an abnormality to his right leg, he wears an artificial limb but has never let that stop him when it comes to sport, having previously been particularly proficient at basketball.

With a love of football however, when he found out about the Foundation’s training and game opportunities for Wolves Disability FC, he couldn’t wait to get involved.

For him, and all the team, Sunday promises to be a memorable occasion!

“From sitting in the stands watching the disability adult team at half time against Cardiff a few years ago, to being captain, lifting the league cup and now leading the lads out at half time against Norwich is incredible,” says Daz.

“Don’t let anyone tell you: ‘You can’t!’

“These experiences would never have been possible without the kick up the backside from my beautiful wife Emma, love and support from my kids Liam and Esmee, and the hard work all the coaches put in at the Foundation.

“This opportunity will live with me forever - Wolves ay we!”

During the season, which included both league fixtures and cup competitions played at St George’s Park, the Adult and under-12 teams won their League Cup, and the under-16s landed a league and cup double.

The squads train weekly in the Foundation Arena at Aldersley and will be back for pre-season in the summer ready for another exciting campaign for 2022/23.