A young deaf footballer from Peterborough has reached the milestone of scoring 50 league and cup goals for his local mainstream football team.
William Palmer scored his 50th goal on Sunday for Hampton Football Club against Wasps in the Peterborough Junior Alliance League and then scored one more to make it a hat-trick for the match and 51 for his club career.
William is in his third season for Hampton, a mainstream side, and also plays for Derby County’s Centre of Excellence for deaf and visually impaired players and trains with Peterborough United Deaf.
Now the division’s top scorer in league action this season, he had been on a barren run after three games without a goal, until Sunday, when he opened the scoring in the first five minutes and added two more soon after.
“I was totally amazed because I never realised that I would get this far in two-and-a-half years of football.” He said after the match.
“The third goal today was the best, I got an amazing curl on it. I began my run from the half way line, the goalkeeper was coming out and I had two players closing me down so I only had one chance and I had to curl it over the keeper and into the top right of the goal.”
When he first went for trials, William wanted to be a goalkeeper but was accepted as an outfield player. After spending time on the bench, William began to be selected more often and ended up scoring 20 goals in his first season, thirteen goals in the second and he has found the net 18 times so far this season.
“My favourite goal of all? I scored lots of good goals but my favourite was scored from near the half-way line against Power League, the top team in our division last year. Although we lost badly, I did score from almost half-way and their keeper just couldn’t get to it.” He said.
William was diagnosed as deaf from birth and uses two cochlear implants which he wears during play. Of being a deaf player in a hearing team, he said:
“I just want to be a normal person so I joined a team. I wouldn’t say I’m disadvantaged being deaf in the team, just that the hearing players have some advantages. But so do I. I do hear lots of what the coach says but not all of it.”
William was awarded by Hampton Football Club as the most improved player in 2012 and parents player of the year in 2013. He has also been the team’s leading scorer for the past two seasons. William, who has been awarded the captaincy recently, tries to play as much as possible, participating in training sometimes up to four times a week.
“For other deaf kids who want to play football” he added. “I would say all they have to do is believe in themselves and do their best. Don’t just try to do your best … do your best. That’s what’s important.”
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