Footballer praise for ‘gentle’ and ‘kind’ team

Patrick and Phillip Kiley from Chorley United
Patrick and Phillip Kiley from Chorley United
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A proud mum has sung the praises of a Chorley football team’s behaviour towards her down syndrome son.

Sarah Kiley, from Chorley, is mum to Patrick Kiley, 11, and Phillip Kiley, 5, who suffers with down syndrome.

Every week she takes Patrick to his Chorley United practices, and has been overwhelmed by the way the team go out of their way to make little Phillip’s day.

Mrs Kiley, 36, said: “Footballers can get really bad press, and this little team are amazing with Phillip.

“I would like to thank them for their gentleness and their kindness.

“They are a nine-aside team, and they are great.

“There are 15 boys regularly at practices and games, and they all kick the ball round with Phillip.

“They do it without thinking. Phillip loves it.

“He comes back completely filthy, but he loves the experience.

“He loves being out and about with people.

“Down syndrome gets judged constantly by society, and these lads just don’t do that.”

According to Chorley United’s manager, Dave Cottam, the behaviour shown towards Phillip is typical of his team.

The 11 to 12-year-olds are always going out of their way for Chorley United, and will often go and help Dave when it is not even their practice time.

He said: “They are brilliant with Phillip - I can’t fault them.

“They kick a ball about with him, and include him like he is one of them.

“They are like that with everybody, regardless of their ability and age.

“We do training for four-year-olds and up, and some of the team come down to help out.”