Paralympians' Club

Simon Hill

Simon was born in Stourbridge in the West Midlands, and shortly after birth was found to have Retina Blastoma, which is Cancer of the eye.

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His right eye was removed at 6 months old, and it was hoped that his left eye would be saved. However, the Cancer spread to his left eye as well, and he gradually lost hsi sight in that eye, finally becoming totally blind at the age of 4.

Simon's left eye had to be removed at the age of 6. He now has 2 glass eyes. Simon's resilient attitude made him feel that this shouldnt stop him from doing what other kids in my street did, such as riding a bike. He got his first taste of playing football as most kids do, having a kick around with a normal sighted ball in the street. "I had a ball with a bell inside, but didn’t like to use that as it wasn’t what the other kids used, all I ever wanted from a young age is to be normal and be treated normally."

Simon attented a main stream primary school called Bromley Hills in Kingswinford. Although he had a good over all experience there, the opportunity to play competitive sport was next to none. His first experience of blind football came when he went to New College, Worcester at the age of 11, a special school who support blind and partially sighted kids in their education. In his first 5 years there up until the age of 16, he represented the College at 6 tournaments winning 3, finishing runners up in 2, and 3rd in the other. It was at the age of 17, in 2003, that his school P.E. teacher put Simon forward to an England training camp in Hereford.

In April 2004 he was picked for a squad to fly out to Argentina to play a Friendly tournament. Unfortunately, Simon picked up an ear infection and was unable to participate. Simon eventually made his debut in June 2006 at a friendly tournament in Germany, as part of the build up to the 2006 World Cup.

He has now achieved 29 caps for England and has been to 3 European Championships, where he won silver in 2009 and 2007, and Bronze in 2005, finished 6th in a World Cup and finished 5th in the Paralympic Games in Beijing. Simon, who still lives in the West Midlands, has helped to set up the West Bromwich Albion blind team, who he led to a league championship in 2009 as captain.

Later in 2009, he was voted the Black Country disabled sports person of the year, a moment which he will never forget.

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