Bryan Elliott explains why he loves former CP player Jack Rutter and Marcus Rashford

In this week's edition of 'What England Means, powered by BT' we hear from Bryan Elliott, who is a big fan of England's Cerebral Palsy team and a grassroots CP player himself. He talks about how he discovered CP football after seeing Marcus Rashford's debut goal for the Three Lions...

Sunday 24 May 2020
Bryan Elliott is a young England fan with Cerebral Palsy who follows both the Three Lions and Para Lions

The first England game I remember watching was when Marcus Rashford scored on his debut against Australia.

After that goal, I knew I wanted to play for England in some way so I found some YouTube clips of Jack Rutter, the England Cerebral Palsy footballer, captaining the England CP team for the World Cup and also the Paralympic Games.

This only inspired me more to want to play for England and follow Cerebral Palsy Football.

Bryan Elliott is a big supporter of the England CP team

It was the first I’d heard about them and me and my dad didn’t know much about it at the time, but we wanted to be a part of it so I asked my dad to contact Jack Rutter and he’s really helped me get on the pathway to hopefully one day representing my country at both England and Paralympic level.

I first started watching football on the TV with my dad and my first live game was at Doncaster Rovers, when I was eight years old and it was amazing to be in the stands watching my local team.

I started playing football at school with my friends and eventually started playing mainstream football for my local grassroots team, the Fishlake Falcons. I really enjoyed playing the game with my friends but always found it difficult to keep up with my disability, Cerebral Palsy.

But since knowing Jack, he’s given me some amazing opportunities and great advice along the way and keeps in touch to check how I am getting on.

Meeting my hero, Jack Rutter

I even got to go out to Holland to watch the CP team in a major tournament, which was an amazing experience and it was a real honour to be made mascot for the CP team, which was made even better as I got to walk out with my friend Ned from another CP team.

I was a bit nervous but the whole team were great with me and even let me watch them train and I got to have a kick around with them as well.

Watching a player like Rashford, my all-time favourite England player, come from grassroots football to scoring on his England debut was amazing and although I play a different type of football, it shows that with hard work and determination you can achieve your dreams.

I’m now working hard with my CP team mates and coaches at CP United in Manchester. I really enjoy playing there and seeing the older lads get opportunities to play at both U21 level and even the England senior team inspires me and my teammates to keep believing in our own dreams.

I also enjoy raising awareness for disability football and the opportunities it offers as without this, more kids wouldn’t have the opportunity to play. I would love to see more kids and adults enjoy Cerebral Palsy football and get behind the team.


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By Bradley Newton North West Scorpions