Reading skipper Paul McShane was warmly welcomed as a guest of the Reading FC Deaf team at a training session earlier this week.
The skipper, an Ireland international and a veteran of hundreds of professional fixtures in the Premier League and Championship, dropped by at a training session at The Piggott School in Twyford.
Reading FC Deaf was first founded in 2013 through Reading FC Community Trust with the help of Total Communication, one of leading British Sign Language (BSL) agencies. After an initial 10 weeks of taster sessions, Reading FC Deaf were then integrated into local football festivals and began competing in the BOBi League – a pan-disability league that operates across Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. The side also compete in the South English Deaf Football League & Cup, and they receive sponsorship from STAR.
They have enjoyed a few successful years on the pitch, where the team have been able to develop a number of talented players including representatives of England and Great Britain. And after being crowned the FA South East Disability Cup winners last season, their title defence begins next Saturday with a series of round-robin games at Arbour Park in Slough.
Following on from the training session, Macca met the players and had a chance to share his experience in the game with the Royals’ representatives as they look to make their own inroads in their footballing careers.
Craig Peters, manager of the Reading FC Deaf side, said: “We are hugely grateful to Paul for attending our training session and sharing some of his experiences with our players.
“We enjoy our training sessions and representing the Royals in competitive fixtures, and I know that all of the players were delighted to welcome our club captain to The Piggott School – it is a big boost to everyone to have Paul’s support!”