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Lifelong disabled Liverpool FC fan honoured at Anfield for his charity work

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Written By: Laura Tacey  18/8/15

John Smith was presented with a Point of Light award at Liverpool FC’s match against Bournemouth.

Ian Ayre chief executive of Liverpool FC gives award to John Smith alongside Tom Kiddell Private Secratary to the Prime Minister at half time of the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and A.F.C. Bournemouth

A lifelong Liverpool FC fan who overcame his disabilities to become a club charity coach has been recognised by the Prime Minister.

John Smith, from Croxteth, was presented with a Point of Light award at Liverpool FC’s match against Bournemouth for his commitment to teaching wheelchair football to people with severe disabilities.

The 39-year-old, who lives with physical and impairment disabilities, initially took up the sport at the Liverpool FC Foundation charity programme ‘Respect 4 All’, five-years-ago.

He quickly took to wheelchair football and 18-months-ago the lifelong Liverpool fan started sharing his passion with others by becoming a coach for disabled football.

John teaches up to 15-people each week and recently gained a Football Association level one coaching award.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “For many people conquering disability to play wheelchair football would be enough of a challenge, but John has gone so much further.

“Through his key role in Liverpool’s Respect 4 All programme, he is sharing his wheelchair football skills with others and helping to make football more accessible for disabled people. What John is doing at Liverpool is inspirational and I am delighted to recognise him as the UK’s 317th Point of Light.”

Every day, one outstanding UK citizen is selected to receive the award.

John said: “I was absolutely delighted and humbled to find out I had received this prestigious award.

“I feel really privileged to be recognised for the volunteer work that I love doing. I wouldn’t be where I am today though without the support of LFC Foundation who spotted and nurtured my skills, and without the support of my parents, who taught me that I can be independent in various ways.”

Source: Liverpool Echo http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/lifelong-disabled-liverpool-fc-fan-9875903

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