Young footballer strikes gold in Brazil

Chard & Ilminster News: GILES Moore at his home in Horton. GILES Moore at his home in Horton.

THE trip of a lifetime to Brazil turned out to be as good as gold for a young football star from a village near Ilminster.

Giles Moore, 16, from Horton, was part of the England under-20 cerebral palsy football squad which won gold in the Brazil School Games in San Paulo earlier this month.

His outstanding goalkeeping skills contributed to a clean sweep of six victories against teams from cities in the host nation including Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo, during which he let in only a couple of goals.

These achievements are particularly impressive considering he has a condition similar to cerebral palsy of the lower limbs which means he has to take painkillers when he plays.

The former Holyrood Academy student said: “I knew we could do well, but I wasn’t sure if we could win the whole thing, so it was amazing.

“The trip was all I expected and more. All the lads are brilliant and we keep in touch when we’re back home.”

But it doesn’t stop there – on January 31 Giles and his teammates will fly out to San Diego, where they will train and play a number of matches ahead of the European Championships in Portugal in the summer.

He added: “We are have our sights set on the Paralympics in Rio in 2016 – it would be amazing to represent my country at that kind of event.”

As well as being awarded the Steve Dickinson Memorial Cup for the most outstanding sportsman at an awards evening at his former school, Holyrood Academy, Giles has made his friends and family understandably proud.

His mum Maria said: “Giles and the team did really well to win gold. Although I think they were perhaps secretly confident, they didn’t expect to win all their matches.

“He absolutely loved the experience – I think he would have liked to stay out there.

“We are over the moon and extremely proud of him, it’s such an achievement, but he doesn’t shout about it – he is very humble. So many people were unaware about what he has done because he keeps so quiet about it all.”

In between training at the FA’s state-of-the-art development centre in the midlands – St George’s Park – Giles continues to work hard back home – using the gym at 1610’s Cresta Leisure Centre in Chard several times a week to stay strong.

Maria added: “It can be quite a struggle to fit everything in around normal life, but he does manage it.

“He doesn’t want to let his studies in animal management at Bridgwater College slip and they have been very understanding. It is a busy life, but it’s all worth it.”

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