Meet Jamie Tregaskiss - Man City's extraordinary amputee footballer
When Jamie Tregaskiss was 10 years old, he was scouted by Manchester City of the Premier League and his dream of playing professional football was off to a promising start.
At age 13, due to an incredibly rare form of cancer, Jamie had his left leg amputated. Now 21, he has endured circumstances few teenagers, or adults, could overcome and is still doing what he loves – playing football for City and his country.
Jamie’s journey began whilst he was on the books at City’s academy. A leap off an eight foot wall at his school left him with two sprained ankles and weeks in crutches.
Concerns were raised when Jamie’s started feeling a pain in his left hip. A scan and X-ray showed no problem, but soon he began losing weight rapidly and suffering from fatigue and a biopsy and further tests revealed the reality of his condition.
Jamie was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer which according to charity Children With Cancer affects only about 30 children a year. Only just a teenager, he was left having to decide between losing his leg or his life.
“I was about 6-7 years old when I first kicked a ball, I’ve always wanted to be a footballer,” said Jamie. “When I got diagnosed I was a bit down, when you lose your leg you think you’ll never be able to play football again.”
After leaving hospital, Jamie’s mother heard about amputee football and soon enough he was trying his hand at it, relearning all he had with two legs and converting it to using just one.
Now Jamie plays for Manchester City’s amputee football team as part of City in the Community’s One City disability programme. Having been with the programme for 18 months now, Jamie is fast gaining a reputation as one of the world’s best talents in amputee football.
“I took to it quite quick, I got used to it, and I started playing again and it started from there,” said Jamie. “Now I’m going on tournaments, travelling the world and representing Man City, and that’s pretty cool! I’m really proud of myself.”
In a few weeks, City’s Amputee team travels to Abu Dhabi to play in the Football Is More tournament. Eight teams representing the world will play and City’s team will represent England, with Jamie at the helm.
Jamie is part of Universal Channel’s brand initiative “Characters Uncovered”, which aims to highlight individuals in the UK who inspire others through their character and determination to succeed in life.