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Rhyce Ramsden: My Journey Into Amputee Football And A Memorable 2023

Rhyce Ramsden prepares ahead of 2017 European Cup Final vs Turkey - Image: LAJ Photography

Writes: Elliot Burrow

The 2023 season has been one to remember for Rhyce Ramsden and his Everton team-mates.

Scoring twice and a player of the match performance in the Toffees 4-2 FA Disability Cup victory over Portsmouth in June, to sealing the EAFA League title earlier this month, Ramsden and his teammates now have their eyes firmly set on the treble with the League Cup looming in September.

Add all of that silverware to the Nations League success which ended England’s 33-year wait for a major trophy in the sport and you could forgive Ramsden for thinking he was dreaming.

Ramsden joined Everton at the start of the season but wasn’t always the swashbuckling outfield player that he is today, in fact, he started his amputee football career in the hope he was going to be a goalkeeper.

Born with a tumour in his right knee, at five months old the decision was made to amputate his limb. However, this didn’t stop the Bolton man from playing the sport he so loved, having played in goal for his local Saturday league team with his prosthetic.

Ramsden discovered amputee football after his school teacher introduced him to Owen Coyle Jr who talked about the EAFA programme.

He said: “Owen came to my school and told me everything about it and the following week he invited me to the junior camp which the EAFA were running, so things developed pretty quickly.

“I started off thinking I was going to be a goalkeeper, but then I realised I had to be an arm amputee to do that so I tried crutches outfield and managed to fluke it, then four months later I was off to the European Championships in Turkey.”

Only 16 at the time, Ramsden travelled to Turkey being the youngest in the squad and away from home for the first time. It was quite and experience for a boy who had only been playing the sport for such a short time.

Making his debut on such a big stage and getting the chance to represent his country made it an unforgettable experience.

“It was such a great experience to get to the final and play in front of 42,000 fans at Besiktas’ stadium and it’s always been my favourite moment in football up until recently,” Ramsden said with a wide smile.

That smile alludes to England’s Nations League win.

“To go out and achieve something that hasn’t been done since 1990, and to do it with this group of players and staff just felt amazing.

“Obviously I always held my debut back in 2017 as the most memorable moment for me but winning a trophy has just edged that slightly now I think.”

Ramsden poses with the Nations League trophy - Image: Jake Kirkman

The next stop for the national team is the Amp Football Cup in September, before Ramsden will get the chance alongside his Everton teammates to complete the treble.

The Amp Cup gives Ramsden another opportunity to add another major trophy for his country to the collection though, and he’s looking forward to it.

“As long as we win it then I’ll be happy,” Ramsden said.

“I’d love to have a go at being player of the tournament as well because at the minute I feel as though I’m in my prime and the form of my life.

“I can always be better I think but if we can just bring back the trophy then anything else would just be a bonus.”

Despite already winning two trophies, Ramsden is determined to make sure Everton round off the season in style and showcase their dominance this year.

“For me personally and for the team it’s been such a fantastic season for us and we’re not done yet.

“To just miss out on being the top goalscorer in the league was slightly frustrating but to do the double already and still have the chance to make it a treble and a clean sweep is something that we’re really excited about as a group.”

Ramsden alongside his girlfriend Ellé after winning the 2023 FA Disability Cup - Image: Jake Kirkman

His brilliant performances have caught the attention of some other clubs as well, Polish side Leiga Warsaw signing Ramsden alongside three other national team players.

The opportunity to head away from his roots and play in different surroundings was just too tempting to push away. However, Ramsden will still be eligible to play for Everton alongside his time out in Warsaw.

He said: “The manager from Leiga Warsaw just got in touch with me and asked if I would be interested in joining them so it was pretty hard to turn down really.

“Being able to play in the league over here in England is great but going abroad and testing myself against other players and opposition can really help me develop more as a player and give me different challenges.”

Ramsden is fully focused on what’s going to be a busy September for the time being however, hoping he can add a few more medals to his ever growing collection.


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