Paralympian inspiration at St Albans school

David Clarke at STAGS GCSE presentation evening

David Clarke at STAGS GCSE presentation evening - Credit: Archant

Blind footballer and Paralympic hero David Clarke gave an inspirational talk to GCSE students at a St Albans school recently.

David, who was England football captain in the Paralympics and lives in Harpenden, spoke to students at St Albans Girls School’s GCSE presentation evening.

He described how he came to play soccer and how a special teacher changed his life by creating a football he could hear.

First they began by experimenting with putting rice inside the football but it eventually went soft so could no longer be heard.

The next step was to place bells inside the ball which worked well and eventually led David on to enjoy a distinguished career in competitive football.

David has also achieved 144 caps for the England blind football five aside team and scored 128 goals which he pointed out to the student, with a smile on his face, was more than Wayne Rooney.

He holds a place in the National Football Museum’s Hall of Fame in Manchester and has recently helped launch the UK’s first Sports Academy for people with visual impairment at the Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) in Hereford.

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Head Girl Sam Springle said “I thought his speech was really inspirational; he is truly a remarkable man who just never gave up and he made his dreams come true which is wonderful.”