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Mike Swindells honoured with prestigious Bert Trautmann Award

Mike Swindells

Mike Swindells

City in the Community participant Private Mike Swindells, 27, has been presented with the Bert Trautmann Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his hard work and dedication to the Foundation's 'One City' Disability programme.

In 2010, Mike had been on a routine patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan when he stepped on an improvised explosive device. He was immediately flown to Camp Bastion for emergency surgery during which his left foot had to be amputated.

Though Mike knew how lucky he was to be alive, he said returning home to Wythenshawe had been a challenge. After all, life without his left foot was quite an adjustment to make.

However, thanks to family friend and City in the Community Disability Coordinator, Paul Kelly, Mike soon discovered the Foundation's 'One City' Disability programme.

The programme, designed to increase sporting opportunities and promote disability sport in Manchester, was just what Mike needed and it didn't take long before he became fully integrated into the programme.

Today, Mike mentors new participants and helps them come to terms with their disability. He uses his story to show them that having a disability doesn't mean they can't play football or do any of the other activities they enjoy.

Over time, he has become a source of great inspiration to local residents who live with a disability, making him the epitome of everything the Bert Trautmann Award stands for.

The award is named after one of the greatest Manchester City goalkeepers of all time, Bert Trautmann. He won over the nation with his brilliance and bravery before making 545 appearances for the Club between 1949 and 1964.

The award was introduced to honour those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty and who display the same spirit and determination to make a difference within the community no matter the odds - just as Bert did.

Bert Trautmann

Mike's work with 'One City' embodies all of these values and as a result, Bert's son Stephen was more than happy to step on the stage at City Live to announce the award's worthy recipient.

Reflecting on the award, an emotional Mike commented: "Getting involved with City in the Community has had an immense impact on my life; it made me realise that yes, I may be disabled, but that doesn't mean I can't do all of the things I loved doing before.

"I just want others to realise the same thing so that they can take advantage of their favourite activities too.

"Receiving this award is an absolute honour, especially as I know there are so many people at the Club who are just as dedicated to the programme as I am.

"Honestly, I couldn't be more touched by the Club's recognition of my work. Thank you."

Over the last three years, City in the Community's 'One City' Disability programme has worked with 12 different special schools across Manchester, encouraging over 8,000 people who live with a disability to get involved in sport.

Participants in the programme enjoy specially-designed coaching sessions in football, rugby, tennis, athletics and netball, covering basic techniques and movement skills.

For more information, please contact Paul Kelly via email at paul.kelly@mcfc.co.uk

You can watch Mike Swindells share his inspirational story below or via this link.

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