For many sufferers of Congenital Talipes Equinovarus (commonly known as ‘clubfoot’), certain aspects of life that others may find a simple task, can be difficult and improbable – particularly football. But for young footballer Sean Howard-McCann, from Suffolk Park Football Club, and the help of his local community, this condition is not holding him back.
Since two weeks after his birth, Sean has had a number of surgeries in the attempt to stretch his feet around to face in the correct direction, but have had limited success resulting in him needing leg braces to get around comfortably, however, they are unfortunately not compliant with the laws of game.
After recent developments and workings between Suffolk Park FC, Football Far North Coast and Sean’s Orthopaedist as well as an inspiring amount of fundraising, Sean now has custom-made football boots, worth the sum of $2,750 which support his condition and adhere to the laws of the game.
Member of Suffolk Park FC and Pararoos’ star Ben Roche, has been one of the main contributors, helping to $1,500 of the cost via the Lord’s Taverners Northern NSW foundation, as have local businesses in providing raffle prizes such as Byron Resort and Spa – all with the goal of allowing Sean to continue playing the game he loves.
Sean’s coach and club president Tai Lonergan spoke of the inspiration Sean is.
“Sean is a champion in our eyes,” Lonergan said.
“He works hard for his teammates and is one of the first to put his hand up to fill in for opposition teams if they are short – and he works just as hard.
“He is fair, competitive and lifts and supports all the players around him. It makes me a happy coach each week.
“I believe he could be wearing the Green and Gold for a number of sports in the coming years, but hopefully we can keep him in football.”
Not only is Sean a brilliant footballer, but he also loves playing a variety of sports including athletics where he won a Silver medal at the national level for children with disabilities.
Through all of his challenges, Sean’s parents, John and Olivia said he’s never considered himself “in any way different”, and has never let his condition define him.
“He has never complained and doesn’t see himself as disabled or deformed,” John McCann and Olivia Howard said.
“He has such a special soul and inspires so many children and adults.
“One of my most precious moments was hearing how his whole school cheered him across the finish line in their cross country. His teacher told me she had tears streaming down her face.”
Suffolk Park FC will be holding a fundraising event on Saturday 22nd June featuring the Hombres and food by Tuk Tuk Thai at Byron at Byron Bay Golf Club to recover the rest of the costs, and are still hoping for more prizes to be included in the raffle.
Please contact the club via email; firstname.lastname@example.org, for information regarding the raffle and fundraising event.