Cup victory for keen Lancaster footballer diagnosed with Parkinson's
While much of the sporting world’s focus is on Japan and the Olympics, one Lancaster man has claimed silverware in the Cure Parkinson’s football cup.
Mick Hill was part of the Northern Lights team which travelled to Worcester to play in the tournament against side from across the country.
The event was showcasing a series of sports for those with Parkinson’s, with the football tournament the main event.
Mick, 66, said: “I was diagnosed in January this year although my first symptoms showed in December 2019. When I spoke to the Parkinson’s nurse she stressed that although medication can help, exercise was also important to help slow any deterioration.
“I had been playing walking football in Morecambe and also Garstang so I knew would carry that on as it’s doing something I like doing, having played for many years in the North Lancashire League.”
Mick joined a social media group and saw that the Northern Lights football team, run by John Roche and based in Liverpool, was looking for players with the condition.
As well as training and playing for the Morecambe and Garstang walking football teams, Mick travelled to Liverpool for training sessions and joined the eight strong squad for the Worcester tournament.
The games were played using usual seven-a-side rules, and after seeing off opposition from London and Bristol Mick’s teams faced a very strong Welsh nation team Cadwyr Cymru in the final.
The game finished all square at 0-0 and the Northern Lights won the penalty shoot-out.
“The Welsh team were very good, but the key thing was the spirit the games were played in," Mick said. "Everyone is in the same boat, and even after being beaten on penalties the Welsh team was very gracious in defeat.
“For me it’s just important to be playing, and I’d encourage anyone out there to get out there and find something they like doing and do it. The medication does help, but the football is doing its bit too.”