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Amputee football hosts first training session in Annan

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Amputee football hosts first training session in Annan

A MAN from Eastriggs is bringing amputee football to Annan on Saturday, despite only starting the sport last July.

Brian Murray, who lost his leg to cancer when he was just ten years old, has helped arrange a training session at Galabank at 11 am on Saturday morning.
The 46-year-old factory accountant plays with Everton, but struggles to attend the training sessions due to the four hour round trip.
But now there may be an opportunity to train every week in Annan, which is a first for the area and for Scotland.
Brian said: “Everton Amputee Football Club were happy to host a training session up here and Annan Athletic were more than willing to let us hold it at Galabank. The plan is for it to be an open session to let people from around Dumfries and Galloway and Cumbria get involved.”
Brian admitted that he feels “nervous” ahead of Saturday.
“It’s a big day for me,” he explained; “because not a lot of people from around here have ever seen me with my leg off and this will be getting some good publicity too.”
Brian is hopeful for a good turnout this weekend and is urging as many people to attend, even if just to watch.
He explained: “There’s going to be demonstrations, there’s going to be a bit of training and then for the last half hour, if we have enough players there, we’re going to have a game.”
He added: “The main thing is we’ll have a lot of friends and family coming to watch and that’s going to be really special for me and a first for amputee football.”
AMAZING . . . pulling on the Everton shirt was an "amazing" feeling for 46-year-old Brian
AMAZING . . . pulling on the Everton shirt was an “amazing” feeling for 46-year-old Brian
Brian went through surgery after contracting cancer in his knee as a young boy. 
He said: “Before I lost my leg I used to play football at school. It was a big part of my life when I was young and then to get that taken away was really hard.
“I used to play with my mates at school with my crutches, but then as I got older, stupidly, I became more self conscious and stopped playing.”
He added: “Playing football has given me so much more confidence now.”
Just over 35 years after losing his leg, Brian again got involved in playing the sport he loves.
He said: “I got in contact with the head of the GB team Dave Tweed after I saw an advert in a magazine when I was at the hospital in Edinburgh.
“Dave told me they’d been trying to bring amputee football to Scotland for a number of years but had no luck.”
He added: “I had been keeping in touch with Dave for about a year when he told me that there would be a game coming up at Manchester City’s training complex, where a few teams meet to play each other — and that is just an unbelievable complex.”
Brian didn’t expect to get much game time, but after a brief introduction, he was thrown in at the deep end.
He explained: ” I went there not expecting much and I asked what I should take with me. They just said to bring my boots and shin pads and they’d give me the kit. It was amazing getting to pull on the Everton shirt.”
He added: “During the first game I was like a rabbit in the headlights — but then in the second and the third games I took to it really well.”
After the first session, Brian was asked to come along to league matches, and suddenly, Brian was an Everton player.
He said: “We’re six points clear at the top of the league at the moment, and all is going well.”
brian murray amputee

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