A young Wearsider has told of his pride at being selected to play for the Great Britain Deaf Football Team at the first-ever Under-21 European Championships.
Sunderland Deaf AFC star Jake Rowan is the only person from the North East to be picked for the squad, which will travel to Poland in August to compete against the best sides on the continent.
I was absolutely buzzing, it was a dream come true and I’ll never forget the feeling.Jake Rowan
Speaking about his selection for the squad, the 21-year-old said: “I struggle to put it into words sometimes how I felt when I got told I was in the squad.
“I was absolutely buzzing, it was a dream come true and I’ll never forget the feeling.
“All of my family are massive football fans and have supported me so much, so they were obviously over the moon as well.
“I know I need to work extremely hard to hopefully be a starter.”
Former New Silksworth Juniors and Venerable Bede pupil Jake first started playing football when he was eight, but has only been with Sunderland Deaf AFC for three years.
“We’ve won the Northern League three years in a row and the National League the past two years,” said Jake, of Silksworth.”
Jake is now calling on help to get him to Poland.
“The team receives no funding from any governing body in the UK so we are completely self-funded and as a result each player has to raise £1,000 to attend the tournament this summer,” said Jake.
“I know it’s a lot of money but I’m not asking anyone to donate large amounts, please donate what you can.”
To donate to Jake’s appeal, go to https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/j-rowan?utm_campaign=projectpage-share-owner&utm_content=j-rowan.
Money raised will go towards Jake’s travel accommodation and training wear.
A fundraising night to boost the total is also taking place at Donkins pub, in Silksworth, on Friday, thanks to help from organisers and friends Natalie Duke, Gail Bains, Craig Bewick and Alan Lawrence.