Town set to host England Deaf Football team’s first home international match

PUBLISHED: 07:57 01 March 2018

The England Deaf Football Team

The England Deaf Football Team

Archant

The first ever international game to by played in England by the England Deaf Football Team will be at Saffron Walden Town Football Club.

The game will be on Sunday, April 29, the same day as the Ethan Rees Linwood Memorial Fund, also being held at the football ground. The two events will be designed to complement each other and share the money from the gate.

It is expected that the game, a qualifying round for the 2019 European Football Championship will be televised.

The England team manager, Dean Humphreys, said he chose Saffron Walden Town “Because of rich history of the club.”

He added that the club is also close to Stansted Airport where the Czech Republic Deaf team will arrive to play the English team. They will be staying at Bishops Stortford for three days.

The winners will be away in the next round to either Croatia or Ireland on June 17. England have already been beaten by Turkey five-nil. That match was watched by a crowd of 11,000.

The other qualifying fixtures are Netherlands v Russia, Hungary v Poland, Spain v Ukraine and Italy v Germany. For the game in Saffron Walden, the match officials will be appointed by the Football Association, with the fourth official being deaf himself so that he can help explain decisions to the team managers.

Jim Haynes a director of Saffron Walden Town said: “This will be the first ever England Deaf Football Team to be played in England and we are very honoured to have been asked to host it.

“The English team boasts one fully professional player who has played for Swansea City and some six or seven semi-professionals. All the Turkey players are at least semi-professional and it’s perhaps not too surprising that they beat England five nill.”

The Ethan Rees Memorial Fund was set up in memory of 11-year-old Ethan who died in a car accident in 2012. His family raise money to help other young people develop their skills.

The football match will be a pay-what-you-want entry fee.

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