Harvey Greenway was told by doctors that he may never walk or talk again, but with true grit, determination and a real fighting spirit, the 19-year-old is defying the odds and flourishing in the Chelsea Foundation Pan-Disability programme.
Harvey was previously in the Reading Football Club Academy, but after suffering a traumatic brain injury following a car accident, the avid Chelsea supporter was in a coma for several months but showed true bravery and courage to defeat the odds stacked against him.
Harvey has developed hugely in just over six months, learning to walk, talk, run and play football again, and is now aiming towards securing a spot on the England Cerebral Palsy team, which he is now certified to play for.
‘The doctors thought I’d never walk again, talk again, I was thinking the worst.’ Harvey said.
‘My recovery was difficult, very difficult, very tiring, very long and a lot of effort was used to do the simple things, walking, talking, and eating.’
Harvey’s mum, Dawn Greenaway, added: ‘We took him into the car park of the hospital, on his frame and put a ball by his feet.
‘That was when I wanted to defy what anyone was telling us, that he may not be the way that he was, but Harvey is going to play football, he is going to do it.’
It is because of the Chelsea Foundation Pan-disability football sessions, that Harvey has been able to continue playing football, providing support to him and his family.
For many children and adults who have suffered a traumatic injury or have a disability which is either diagnosed or undiagnosed, finding regular physical activity where they feel comfortable to take part in is challenging for both the individual and their families. It can be difficult, particularly for an individual who has suffered a traumatic injury, to overcome the extreme changes to their life that have occurred.
The Chelsea FC Foundation Pan-disability football programme has been running since 2003 and offers sessions for various age groups and abilities, providing an opportunity for players like Harvey, to develop as players and individuals, and learn key skills around the game and themselves to achieve their goals.
The Foundation aims to provide a community setting where those who are defying the odds and striving forward the opportunity to not only develop as a player but try to reach the goals they have set.
Chelsea Foundation disability officer, Ellie Crabb, said: ‘For us it’s one of the main reasons we are so passionate about the sessions we provide, to support players and their families as they join a community where they feel comfortable, are challenged appropriately and can develop as footballers and people.
‘The team of coaches we have are inspired on a weekly basis on the challenges that these players overcome, and for myself I am proud that we have such a strong community across coaches, players and families who are all working together in order to achieve this. It’s incredibly rewarding.’
For more information on the Chelsea Foundation Pan-disability football programme, please contact Community.Enquiries@chelseafc.com