No paralympic call up for Sutton United and Croydon Athletic footballer Robbie hughes

Robbie Hughes playing for England against Ukraine in the European Championships

Robbie Hughes playing for England against Ukraine in the European Championships

First published in Local news Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Assistant Editor

A footballer brain damaged after suffering a brutal attack while on holiday has missed out on his dream of representing his country at the Paralympics.

Robbie Hughes, 31, needed four life-saving operations after he left in the coma by the attack in Malia, Crete, in June 2008.

The former Croydon Athletic and Sutton United footballer had been told as he began his recovery he would never play football again.

But he defied his doctors’ predictions, risking his life to play the sport he loves.

In 2010 he was given his first call-up to the GB Paralympic football squad.

He played himself into contention for this summer's Paralympics in London and was considered one of the most talented footballers in the side.

But the British Paralympic Association (BPA) has not been selected to compete in the seven-a-side team at this summer's Games.

It is understood coaches at the national set-up had concerns over his temperament, a feature of his condition following his brain injury.

Jeff Davis, the Football Association's national manager for disability football said: "Unfortunately, Rob has not been selected for the Paralympics but he will still be considered for England post-Games."

Hughes' mum Maggie Hughes said: "He was heartbroken. He couldn’t understand what he had done wrong and why he hadn’t been picked.

"But he has picked himself back up and is determined to keep going so he will be considered in the future."

Hughes has finally begun treatment through South London and Maudsley NHS Trust for obsessive compulsive disorder(OCD) and memory loss, a result of the attack on him.

The 31-year-old will continue to train with Sutton United.

He is also due to travel to Greece in November for the trial of six UK nationals accused of carrying out the attack on him outside a nightclub four years ago.


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