Chelsea’s Luke Bayley says his journey with EAFA has been ‘incredible’, praising the charities efforts in allowing him to keep the football-mad kid inside of him alive.
In 2017, the 30-year-old was diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma of the bone before undergoing surgery to remove the tumour - amputating his left leg above the knee.
Being a football fanatic, Luke was sure to be involved in amputee football a little less than a year after his amputation having come across a poster promoting the sport whilst in hospital.
“My journey with the EAFA has been incredible,” he said.
“Growing up as a football-mad kid, and having a son who is the same, seemed like my life revolved around football.
“After my amputation, I thought I would never kick a ball or play the sport again and the charity has since given me an opportunity to play the sport in a professional, competitive and safe environment.”
Luke began his amputee career with Arsenal before making the switch to Peterborough United where he enjoyed cup success in 2021 (FA Disability Cup) and 2022 (EAFL Championship Play-Off winners).
However, for the 2022/23 season, Peterborough reformed as Chelsea FC which has given Luke and the rest of the squad the opportunity to experience elite facilities at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground.
“The change of clubs has been amazing, to have access to some of the best facilities and coaching in the country is unbelievable and a credit to the football club,” he said.
Despite the Blue's winless in the league so far, Luke is confident in his team and the club to get on track to get where they aspire to be.
“The start with Chelsea has not been the one we have wanted results wise.
“I believe we can go on and pick up points and be a tough team to play against.
“We need to look to the future and build a solid foundation so we can really push on in future seasons.”