Birmingham student top goal scorer at international football tournament
Harry Baker, a student from the University of Birmingham, has finished as joint-top goal scorer at the 2018 Cerebral Palsy European Championship where he played for England. The tournament took place in the Netherlands from Wednesday 25 July to Sunday 5 August.
Harry’s seven goals in five matches came as an unexpected surprise, as he wasn’t previously known as a goal scorer. Harry commented: "I have always seen myself as a defender, but under the exciting style of play implemented by my manager I was moved to the wing position, which I thoroughly enjoyed."
Highlights of the tournament for Harry included scoring his first international hat-trick in a stunning 8-0 win over Northern Ireland. His seventh goal of the tournament, secured a 2-0 victory against Germany and ensured qualification at next year’s World Cup in Madrid.
Following the win against Germany and confirmation of England’s fifth place in the tournament, Harry still had to endure a nervous wait to find out if he had won the Golden Boot. "I was so nervous, yet this feeling was soon overcome with a sense of euphoria and relief when my name was read out as a joint winner."
Summarising what the experience meant to him, he said: "For me personally, it’s my greatest achievement."
Harry’s journey into disability football didn’t begin until his teenage years, having previously played mainstream football at school. After initially being hesitant, he started playing pan-disability football with regional Midlands’ teams, before receiving his first call-up for England when he was 16. He has since played in two European Championships and two World Cups.
Harry now dreams of winning medals with the England Cerebral Palsy team and representing the Great Britain Team at the Paralympic Games.
For more information on pan-disability football, please visit the Football Association website.
To find out more about disability football within Birmingham, please refer to the Birmingham FA website.