disability football

Disability Football Grows in Leicestershire as New Teams Join Disability Leagues

Opportunities for disabled players in Leicestershire continue to grow as the number of players increases by 150 this season.

Opportunities for disabled players in Leicestershire continue to grow as the number of players increases by 150 this season, bringing the total to 544 disabled players for 24/25.

The growth in disability football comes as new clubs begin to develop disability teams as part of their England Accreditation. This month, Sileby Juniors, playing as Sileby United, entered their second adults’ team in the Leicestershire Adult Inclusive Football League, having only joined the league with their first team in January. Sileby United have also joined forces with Coalville Town FC to enter a joint U18’s team into the Leicestershire Junior & Youth Disability Football League to ensure all their players get an opportunity to play in matches. 

Sporting Markfield were also present for their first matchday this month, entering an U11’s, U14’s and U18’s team into the Leicestershire Youth & Junior League, where their U18’s team were winners of the Respect Cup competition, a trophy that is presented to the team that shows the best sportsmanship on the day. 

Chairperson for Sileby Juniors, James Walker, has been delighted with how well setting up the disability pathway at the club has gone. He said: "Sileby United has brought out the best in the club through the young adults' enjoyment of football. To see the smiles and friendships that have been made has been a joy to watch.”

Both clubs have been supported by Leicestershire & Rutland County FA, with staff from our development team and Disability Football Ambassador, Shaun Culpin who was thrilled with the growth of disability football in Leicestershire. He said: “From the initial meeting with the clubs to seeing them play in the Pan Disability league, it was amazing, especially seeing the smiles on their faces and new friendships being formed.

“Having worked with them along their journey, helping with advice on advertising, getting the players at the club, overseeing training sessions, and offering full support in any way I can.

“It’s all part of my role as Disability Football Ambassador, and over the next few months we are hoping to be helping more clubs become more inclusive.”

New teams entering the two leagues have been a driving force in making more opportunities available for players in Leicestershire, but other projects have made an impact as well.

Leicester City in the Community earlier this season ran the first Powerchair Football session in the county for a few years earlier in the year, with 8 players coming to try the sport out. They have future sessions planned to take place at Huncote Leisure Centre before the end of the season.

Credit: Leicester City in the Community


Leicester United have also led the way in giving opportunities for blind and partially sighted players, with their weekly sessions at Ellesmere College on a Monday night having started this season.

Sessions are also being provided for players who are not in full-time work or education during the day, with Everyone Active delivering two weekly sessions for disabled adults at their Harborough and Parklands Leisure Centre, as well as a Dementia Friendly football session at Huncote Leisure Centre.

How can I bring disability football to my club?

If you are interested in bringing disability football to your club, contact our Disability Lead, Karl Percivalkarl.percival@leicestershirefa.com

Join us on Teams on Wednesday 10th April for our disability football open evening: