I got the privilege to interview one of the most motivational people in Football, Jack Rutter, Jack at the age of 18, signed for Birmingham City FC and was on the verge of signing as a professional footballer when he was knocked to the ground and suffered brain damage. The incident forced his retirement from professional football in 2010. In 2012, he discovered 7-a-side football and he saw it as his opportunity to get back into football after two years out. Jack turned out to be a natural and in 2014, he captained the England team at the 2014 CPISRA European Championships in Maia, Portugal where the team finished in 5th place. In 2015, he led England to another 5th place, which resulted in their qualification for Rio 2016. In Rio, the team took home another 5th place.

Firstly, how does your disability restrict you in football?

“Spacial awareness, heading the ball, balance, coordination, agility, reactions, vertigo, hearing calls.”

How tough was it transitioning from Professional football to Paralympic football?

 “It was tough because I needed to understand other players impairments and how to get the best from them and help them. It’s 7-a-side with no offsides so that took time to adjust to. It’s very physically demanding and if you switch off for a second against the top four teams, you will be punished.”

What’s it like representing Great Britain?

“A dream come true, the proudest moment of my life because it was an honour to captain GB at the second biggest sporting event in the world and to play with such inspirational players makes it extra special. It is also nice to pay back the support I received from Headway, my family and friends who helped me so much.”

What’s the best stadium you have played in, in terms of atmosphere?

“Villa park was good when I played for Birmingham City Reserves vs Aston Villa Reserves but the Brazil and Ukraine game in Rio was unbelievable.”

Finally, what is your best moment in a Team GB shirt?

“Walking out as captain of the team vs Brazil in Rio opening day of the Paralympics. I, at that moment, could put my mind to rest with what happened.”

 

I would like to thank Jack for taking his time to answer my questions. If you would like to follow Jack on Twitter @jackrutter2.

David – @DCurtyy – Football Writer

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