Paralympics GB Blind Squad
The players representing Tony Larkin's Paralympics GB five-a-side squad at London 2012
Hometown: North Shields
A native of the North-East, Brunton made his international Blind Football debut for England at the IBSA World Games in Turkey last year. The Newcastle United fan already has an international medal to his name, securing a bronze as England returned to Turkey for the 2011 European Championship. Brunton studies Sport and Recreation at the Royal National College.
The GB captain is one of the team’s most recognisable players having featured in Channel Four’s build up coverage such as the Inside Incredible Athletes and the Best of British documentaries plus an advert for Sainsbury’s Million Kids Challenge alongside David Beckham. Clarke first represented GB in Goalball at Atlanta 96 before switching over to Blind Football where he has over 100 caps and goals for England/GB. Clarke has played in five World Cups and six European Championships for England and was in the GB squad that finished fifth at Beijing 08.
The Sunderland fan broke onto the international scene when he made the England squad that finished second at the European Championship in France three years ago. English also featured on Daybreak’s coverage of Blind Football when he took part in a penalty shootout against presenter, Dan Lobb, at the 2010 World Cup in Hereford.
Hometown: Sutton Coldfield
London 2012 will be Harris’s second Paralympics having represented GB at Judo four years ago in Beijing. Harris originally played Blind Football before developing a competitive career in Martial Arts and returned to the England football fold for the 2011 European Championship in Turkey. Away from the sports field, Harris has a BSC (Hons) in Maths.
Home Town: Exeter
James is one of two sighted goalkeepers in the Paralympic GB Blind Squad having made his tournament bow at Beijing 08. Formerly on the books at Exeter City, James shared goalkeeping duties with Lewis Skyers at the 2010 World Cup in Hereford. James trains with local Blind Football club Worcester and works as a Community Support Police Officer.
Home Town: Worcester
Norman was a key squad member as England secured fourth at the 2010 World Cup on home soil. Another survivor of the Beijing 08 GB squad, Norman works at Worcester University and originally played cricket before moving into Blind Football. Norman was also in the European Championship squad that claimed silver in Nantes.
Despite forging an international career for England, Seal originally hails from Bridgend and will be the only Welshman in the Paralympic GB Blind Squad at London 2012. Like team-mate, Will Norman, Seal has a background in cricket but has gone on to record over 60 combined appearances for England and GB at Blind Football including Beijing 08.
Skyers is the second sighted goalkeeper in the GB Blind Squad and London 2012 will be his very first experience of a Paralympic Games having made a tournament debut at the 2010 World Cup in his hometown. Skyers was in goal as England were narrowly beaten 1-0 in their Bronze medal match against China to finish fourth.
Turnham is another Paralympic GB Blind squad member with a background in another sport having competed as a distance runner over 800m before switching to Blind Football on a regular basis. Turnham, who made his England debut alongside Lee Brunton when he went to the World Games in Turkey last year, attends John Moores University in Liverpool and runs a multi sports club for the visually impaired at Greenbank Academy.
Williams is another squad member to benefit from primetime exposure on Channel Four having appeared on the Best of British documentary with Dave Clarke which gave an insight into their lives both on and off the pitch. The Bristol City fan made his tournament debut at the 2010 World Cup in Hereford and has since been to both the World Games and European Championship in Turkey.