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Great Britain Announces Paralympic Football Teams

Both the British Football 5-a-Side and 7-a-Side Squads were introduced at Wembley Stadium.

A group picture of soccer player Football pundits Paul Merson, Chris Kamara, Ray Wilkins and Matt Le Tissier pose for a group picture with Youth Team players from Chelsea and Swindon and the 5-a-side blind footbal GB team. © • Getty Images
By IPC

"The confirmation of my place in the squad is the realization of a lifetime dream and a unique chance to compete at the pinnacle of my sport and on home soil in front of our own fans."

Great Britain revealed its London 2012 Paralympic Games teams for both Football 5-a-Side and Football 7-a-Side on Monday (16 April) in London.

Twenty-two players were selected to compete between the two squads, including Michael Barker who used to play alongside Wayne Rooney at Everton FC academy before sustaining a head injury, and Dave Clarke, who has won the Golden Boot at three world cups and recently introduced David Beckham to the sport of blind football.

To celebrate the announcement, five players took to the pitch at halftime during a Liverpool-Everton game at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, where the crowd gave them a rousing reception.

Twelve players will compete on the 7-a-Side team for players with cerebral palsy and 10 have been selected as part of the 5-a-side team for players with a visual impairment.

Although neither team medalled at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, both squads have been developing throughout this Paralympic cycle, displaying a combination of Paralympic experience and emerging talent.

Achievements of the 7-a-Side team include a third-place finish at the 2011 BT Paralympic World Cup, while the 5-a-Side team won bronze at the 2011 IBSA European Championships in Aksaray, Turkey.

The 5-a-side team will include veteran Clarke, who was part of the first British team to ever compete at a Paralympic Games in 2008.

"The confirmation of my place in the squad is the realization of a lifetime dream and a unique chance to compete at the pinnacle of my sport and on home soil in front of our own fans," Clarke told ParalympicsGB.

The full teams include:

5-a-Side

Dan James; Lewis Skyers; Dave Clarke; Dan English; Darren Harris; Robin Williams; Keryn Seal; Lee Brunton; Will Norman; Roy Turnham

7-a-Side

Craig Connell; Billy Thompson; George Fletcher; Matt Dimbylow; Blair Glynn; Josh Beacham; Martin Sinclair; Jonathan Paterson; James Richmond; Alistair Patrick-Heselton; Ibrahim Diallo; Michael Barker