Patrick-Heselton rues Paralympic performance

Alistair Patrick-Heselton
Alistair Patrick-Heselton

PARALYMPIAN footballer Alistair Patrick-Heselton has claimed his Team GB side should have progressed further at the Olympics, writes Liam Andrews.

The seven-a-side Paralympics team finished in seventh place at London 2012, losing 4-3 to Argentina with Milton Keynes’ Patrick-Heselton scoring a consolation goal.

A car crash in 2006 left the 29-year-old with severe head trauma and he was disappointed the football team did not do better in London.

He said: “From London I think that we should have done so much better – we trained so hard and personally I sacrificed so much.

“It can be a harsh, but it was a choice I made because I was passionate and it was something that I wanted to do.

“I think we could have got an equaliser (against Argentina), but that’s football and all we can do now is learn from it and make sure that it doesn’t happen in Rio.”

Patrick-Heselton plays for the seven-a-side team which consists of players with cerebral-palsy and brain injury.

Before the car crash, he was a member of the Queen’s Park Rangers squad and was thought to be close to a first team appearance.

While he admitted that players like Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard had been a role-model to him he did not want to use that phrase to describe himself.

He joked: “I can’t call myself a role model for others – I’ll let you do that for me.

“Through the Paralympic games I find it quite funny to have to look in the mirror and think that perhaps I’m someone who has taken other people forward and is trying to inspire a generation.

“The only advice I can give is that of Gary Ruddock, an old manager of mine from QPR, which was just to always give your best.

“There will always be days when your performance isn’t very good, that is life – but at the same time there can never be an excuse why you didn’t try your hardest.”