Amputee footballer from Angmering models Albion’s new kit

Connor Cruise from Angmering
Connor Cruise from Angmering

An amputee footballer from Angmering has scored a big boost in the public eye as a model for Brighton & Hove Albion’s new kit.

Connor Cruise has played amputee football for the Albion for two years.

He was chosen alongside other players from the club’s elite disability teams, and both men’s and women’s first-team players to appear on a huge 120-metre-squared graphic on the front of the American Express Community Stadium in Falmer, where the teams play.

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Connor, who is also an England Amputee development squad player, said: “Amputee football gave me a way forward playing the game I love, and it was a real honour to be asked to be involved in the kit launch.

“It was a real once in a lifetime opportunity – I am excited about the new season and hope we can win some matches, Brighton is my local team and my Grandad is a lifelong fan.”

Players were picked from each of the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club’s teams that compete in their respective national league competitions to model the new kits for the 2018/19 season.

This includes the Premier League and Women’s Super League players, alongside players in leagues run by the Wheelchair Football Association (WFA), Cerebral Palsy Sport (CP Sport), England Amputee Football Association (EAFA) and England Deaf Football (EDF).

Connor was also featured on a social media campaign a week prior to the graphic installation.

A Brighton & Hove Albion spokesman said it aimed to raise awareness of all the club’s senior teams that compete in their respective FA national league competitions. The new stadium frontage also includes the words ‘Albion Together’, to ‘illustrate the club’s inclusive approach to the beautiful game’.

Chief Executive Paul Barber said: “The progress the club has made both on and off the pitch since the club’s move to the American Express Community Stadium is something every supporter should be immensely proud of.

“The foundations of this, especially the club’s work in disability sport, began well before the foundations of the stadium were laid, and we continue to be a club that is committed to our local community, every player who competes for the club, and our supporters.”