How it all started
An active American by the name of Don Bennett lost his leg to a propeller in a boating accident. The accident itself might have changed his lifestyle, but it didn't affect his love for sports or practising it on a high level.
Don became the first amputee ever to climb the second to highest peak in North-America with crutches.
He passed on his love for sports to his son. While they were playing basketball the ball started rolling on the driveway.Don, on crutches and without a prosthetic, lifted himself up and kicked the ball towards his son.
In a flash of clarity Don thought that if he could kick a basketball on cruchtes, he could do the same with a football. It was a deceptive easy beginning to what now has become a worldwide practised sport.
Bennett was more interested in skiing in those times than in football. So he and a group of seven other skiers used the game to stay active during summer and to stay in shape awaiting the skiseason.
But the game catched on...
In 1985 Bill Barry, a football coach with Canadian and American professional teamexperience, became the coach of a team under the Seattle Handicapped Sports and Recreation Association (SHSRA). He eventually founded the Amputee Soccer International.
Bennett remained the manager of the team.
It was because of Bills efforts and with the help of Don and other members of the Seattle-group, that the sport was founded in other countries.
Barry travelled through Middle-America and East-Europe and introduced the game to anybody who was interested.
And so the first international amputee footballtournament was held in Seattle (Washington, USA). American Canadian en Middle-American teams took part in the tournament.
The game was played on a regulatory American style footballfield.
The Boeing Aircraft Company became an important supporter of the game and sponsored the annual international championshipevents between 1986 and 1991.
Today Amp football is played in 50 countries all over the world. These clubs are associated with the WAFF (World Amp Football Federation).
European Amputee Football Federation (EAFF) associates amputee football associations in Europe.
The mission of the EAFF is to include and support people with amputations or limb defects, increase their access to amputee football opportunities, and use football to improve their quality of life.
Established in 2015 federation is growing continually reaching 18 members in 2020. Establishing the Federation contributed to further dynamic development amputee football in Europe and spread football integration across the old continent.
At present in Europe there are 1300 active amputee football players, including 150 juniors under 16 years old. Over 80 amputte football clubs enables players to play on a regular basis.