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Fundraiser to help South Shields wheelchair footballer keep playing the game he loves

Harry Boddy, middle.
Harry Boddy, middle.

A darts marathon is hoping to help a South Tyneside footballer capped by England on his way to hitting his fundrasing target to enable him to continue playing the sport he loves.

Harry Boddy has been diagnosed with a rare form of muscular dystrophy but even though he has been confined to a wheelchair, he fails to let his disability stop him from playing the sport he loves - football.

Alan Milward

Alan Milward

The 25-year-old, from Vespasian Street, South Shields, plays powerchair football - a game with special rules designed for those with disabilities.

Since taking up the sport a decade ago he has excelled in the game and has previously featured in the England team.

But with modern advances in technology, the chair he has is now outdated.

A fundraisng drive to help pay for a Strikeforce Powerchair - which would help him get back in the game - was launched last year with £2,500 already being raised of the £7,000 target.

He doesn’t think he will get picked without the chair

Alan Milward

Family and friends are hoping to help Harry raise the cash needed in time for the next England trials in September.

In a bid to further boost the funds, family friend Alan Milward has organised a darts marathon at the Iona Club, Hebburn on Saturday.

The event starts at 11am until 11pm, with at least two darts players will be on the board at anyone time, throughout the event.

There will also be games and other activities taking place to help boost the funds further.

Mr Milward said: “We are hoping to be able to raise the money needed so that Harry can get his chair as soon as possible, so that he can get used to it before the trials.

“Most of the England squad have these chairs, the one he’s got now is 10 years old and outdated, he doesn’t think he will get picked if he doesn’t have the chair.

“Hopefully, the darts marathon will help to raise some funds towards the money he needs. The club have been brilliant making a donation and putting on a buffet.”

Powerchair Football is played indoors on a basketball court, and team consists of up to eight players, four of whom are on the pitch at any one time.

It is governed by the Wheelchair Football Association, which was founded in 2005 and is also recognised by the Football Association.

Anyone who would like to make a donation should visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/harry-boddy