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07 May 2024

Charlie Hewson wins BHAFC Foundation Award

Charlie Hewson wins BHAFC Foundation Award

Charlie Hewson was given the BHAFC Foundation Award at the Players’ Awards ceremony last night (Tuesday 7 May).

Charlie, from Haywards Heath, is part of our disability football programme.

At 14 he is the youngest member of Albion’s amputee football team. Charlie’s coaches are tipping him to become the best amputee player in the world, calling him a “once in a lifetime kind of player.”

Last year he made his debut for England Amputee Juniors, scoring six goals in his first game against Ireland.

He was given the BHAFC Foundation Award in recognition of his outstanding talent, attitude, and hard work throughout the 2023/24 season.

Charlie had his leg amputated when he was a baby, after being diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer at just nine months old.

Charlie’s mum, Kate Hewson, said: “He had cancer when he was a baby, and he had his amputation when he was about 13 months old.

“So he learned how to walk on his prosthetic legs, and he’s never really known any different. He’s just grown up with it.

“Pretty much as soon as he learned to walk, he learned how to kick a football.”

Charlie played in mainstream football using his prosthetic leg until he was about eight years old, when he began to struggle with playing against older children on bigger pitches.

After a period of not wanting to play football anymore, Charlie joined the BHAFC Foundation’s disability membership programme and started playing amputee football on his crutches.

“It was just great to see him fall in love with football again,” mum Kate said, “he just came alive again.”

“Amputee football has been a great way to normalise everything for Charlie. For him to meet people who can relate to his experiences, and to see that the older lads have all turned out okay.

“He loves it, he absolutely loves it. Morning, noon, and night he’s out there playing.”

Luke Frost, Disability Coordinator at the BHAFC Foundation, says Charlie “blew his coaches away” with his ability.

“If you play against Charlie you are going to get a little bit frustrated because he’s so skilful and clever on the ball,” he said.

“I think if he continues the way he’s going, he could easily be the best amputee player in the world.

“He’s got a great attitude, always looking to improve, and he’s humble.”

Charlie accepted his award onstage at the Albion Players Awards at the Amex Stadium, where he was greeted by Albion players Joel Veltman and Vicky Losada, both of whom are community ambassadors for the BHAFC Foundation.

His award was one of several given out on a night which saw Pascal Gross collect both the Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season awards, with Elisabeth Terland winning Player of the Season for the women’s first team.

Find out more about our disability football programme.


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