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Gary Brown has devoted his life to building Durham-based Lumley FC despite disability

Tuesday 10 Jul 2018
Gary Lumley, club secretary and mentor at Lumley FC in County Durham


Gary Brown is the club secretary at Durham-based Lumley FC and one of England's grassroots football heroes.

Not only did Gary take over as the club’s manager back in 1992 just for the “crack with the lads”, but he led them to multiple promotions and has built the club up from one pub team into a footballing pillar in the local community.

There’s now a total of 19 teams run by the club under his watch with a stream of successful coaches developing their own pathway and more recently, they’ve had two young players sign as professionals with Newcastle United and one with Middlesbrough.

To put his achievements into more perspective, Gary has suffered from cerebral palsy since the age of 15 and has been wheelchair bound for over 20 years whilst taking on the mantle of leading Lumley FC forward.

Lumley FC U15 coach and childhood friend Paul Bainbridge revealed: "My first footballing days with Gary were at Lumley Junior School, where we both played for the team.

Gary helps out during a coaching session with Lumley FC

"As a friend, I was obviously very upset that Gary wouldn't be able to play football again but he's devoted his life to football.

"He's put back in what he couldn't do in grassroots football and I think he's definitely an inspiration to any young coach or disabled coach that's thinking about getting involved in football.”

Durham County FA football development officer Andy Brown added: "The challenges Gary's had, he's never let them become barriers.

“He's overcome them and he's never once asked for additional support.

"He's been so proactive and keen and he’s an inspiration for coaches.”

Are you inspired by Gary and what he’s achieved with Lumley? If you want to start your own journey, find out more and how to get started on your coaching pathway.

Coaches who need to renew their licence can do so now.

By FA Staff