1. Deaf Football in Great Britain has a very proud and strong history, dating back to 1871, a history that is virtually unknown to the majority of the followers of football in Britain.

    Most deaf teams in Great Britain compete in mainstream football leagues nationally. The majority of clubs compete in the British Deaf Football Cup annually, which has been running since 1959.

    Deaf Football clubs have been around longer than the majority of all the teams in the English and Scottish Football League pyramid. Great Britain boasts the oldest deaf football club in the world in Glasgow Deaf Athletic Football Club, founded in 1871.

    Several deaf footballers have managed to reach the professional ranks over the last century, but only a dozen have been noted.

    Some have reached the highest levels of the game, while others have had only limited opportunities to succeed at the top level: some accounts suggest that yet more appear to have been rejected because of their inability to hear, rather than because of their footballing abilities.

    Those deaf footballers achieving league status include instances of players born either profoundly deaf at an early age, or during their playing careers.

    However it is no doubt significant that no profoundly deaf players - as in professional players who became deafened - have appeared in professional teams.

    Great Britain beat Iran in the final at the Melbourne 2005 Deaflympics. (The Deaflympics is the second oldest international sporting competition after the Olympics.)

    Great Britain Deaf have been crowned World Champions six times since the Deaflympics was formed in 1924, which is more than any other country.

    Members of Great Britain's leading deaf players play semi-professionally for teams around the UK.

    Deafness

    As a sensory impairment, deafness is seen as a hidden 'disability'. While deaf footballers compete regularly against their hearing peers, they face certain hidden disadvantages, such as not being able to hear instructions during a game when in motion, a referee's decision or crowd reactions. These are all aspects of the game enjoyed by a hearing player and that can make a difference during the course of a match.

    Under international criteria, to be eligible to compete in deaf football competitions, players must have an average hearing loss of 55 Decibels or more in the best ear. All players competing in deaf matches must remove all hearing aids before competing, which may affect one's balance - another important element for a hearing player's game.

    britishdeaffootball.com

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  5. Nine years old Layla Fitzgerald-Woolfe recites the popular World War One poetry by Canadian John McCrae in time for the century anniversary of Remembrance Day.

    The video was first premiered at the Go! Sign Festival Day in Cardiff where many people have asked for the video to be distributed further to encourage other people interested in sign language, poetry and Remembrance Day.

    Please do share it among your friends, relatives and colleagues.

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