Teams unite to remember champion of disability sport in Sheffield

Footballers from around the country united in memory of an inspirational Sheffield coach who dedicated his life to helping others with disabilities.

Thursday, 19th July 2018, 5:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th July 2018, 5:12 pm
Players at Eddie's Memorial Tournament
Players at Eddie's Memorial Tournament

Eddie Edwards spent much of his life supporting people with cerebral palsy and in 2012 founded the Sheffield City Knights Project, a sports and social club for those of all abilities, which has a thriving football team.

He sadly died later that year of an undiagnosed heart condition, aged just 54, missing out on the chance to see his new venture flourishing as it is today.

Eddie Edwards died of an undiagnosed heart condition, aged 54

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The father-of-two, who lived in Stannington, was also disability officer at Sheffield FC and a driving force behind both Sheffield Cerebral Palsy Sports Association and Sheffield Disability Football.

His legacy endures and each year Sheffield City Knights FC take to the field alongside disability teams from around Britain at a memorial tournament organised to 'keep his flame alive'.

Nearly 20 teams travelled from as far afield as Wales to compete in the sixth edition of the annual competition on Saturday, which Sheffield Knights FC manager Sharon Lavender described as a moving occasion.

"Eddie loved football and was a great coach, with some of his players going on to become part of the England cerebral palsy team," she said.

"He really championed disability in sport and made a huge difference to so many people's lives.

"He had an infectious smile and put his heart and soul into everything he did, and his death left a big hole in our hearts.

"This tournament is our way of keeping his flame alive, and I think Eddie would be thrilled to see so many people getting together and having such a great day in his memory."

Sheffield's deputy lord mayor Councillor John Downing was the guest of honour at the tournament, which was held at Sheffield Transport Sports Club in Meadowhead.

The winners were: Pontefract Pirates (7-a-side Premiership), Bradford City Disability FC (7-a-side Championship), Sherwood Colliery FC Men (5-a-side Premiership), Sherwood Colliery FC Women (5-a-side Championship) and Port Talbot (Fair Play Award).