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Holbeach footballer to play in England shirt

Holbeach player Scott Burrell will wear an England shirt for DiaEuro 2018.
Holbeach player Scott Burrell will wear an England shirt for DiaEuro 2018.

Holbeach Reserves player Scott Burrell will pull on an England shirt for a European football tournament with a difference.

Scott (29) has been selected to play for his country in a unique UK team where every player has type 1 diabetes.

DiaEuro 2018 takes place in Bratislava, Slovakia, from July 21-29.

Scott says: "This is the first time England have entered a team and it is the first UK team made up solely of type 1 diabetics.

"I usually play for Holbeach Reserves and the A team and, in the past, I have played for Spalding town."

The team was put together through The Diabetes Football Community, which Scott says is based around social media, by main organiser Chris Bright.

Players in the England team are all-ability, with a couple of ex-professionals from leagues 1 and 2 and some who play socially simply because they enjoy it.

"It's a real mix of people," said Scott. "I have only played at local level, I'm no Harry Kane or anything."

When playing, Scott manages his blood sugar levels by eating "more carby type meals" before a game ... and there's always a bottle of Lucozade nearby so his glucose levels don't dip too low.

He manages the condition well and can only recall one game where things didn't go to plan.

"It was a Spalding Sunday League game," said Scott. "I just kind of stood there, not doing anything at all, I literally just stood still."

All he needed was a glucose top up.

Scott now divides his time between living in London five days a week, where he works for the events company Chillisauce, and his home town of Spalding.

The centre back says football is his favourite sport.

"I love it and try to play it as much as I can," said Scott. "Getting involved with this England team is unique and exciting. I have never been to Bratislava before. It will be good to go there with a good group of people."

Eighteen teams will take part in DiaEuro 2018, which is now in its seventh year.

Do you have a story? Email: jeremy.ransome@iliffepublishing.co.uk


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