Hull & East Yorkshire PFC are proud to publish an exclusive Q&A feature with West Bromwich Albion PFC winger and England powerchair football player Bradley Bates. Brad has been playing powerchair football for roughly 12 years in that time; winning the MDUK Premiership title in the 2017/18, 2018/19 and recently 2019/20 season. The talented winger received his England call-up making his debut in The Three Lions shirt in the 2019 EPFA Nations Cup in Pajulahti, Finland last year.
How long have you been playing Powerchair football?
Roughly around 12 years. This is my 9th season in the Premier League and definitely had at least 2 in the Championship.
What do you enjoy the most about powerchair football?
Being able to compete at the very top level without disability being a barrier.
Why should someone who has a physical disability, and uses a wheelchair on a daily basis try powerchair football?
I would certainly recommend powerchair football to anyone with a disability, the positive impact it will have on their social life will be almost immediate.
How has powerchair football changed your life?
Powerchair football has changed my life in so many ways but the main ones would be the incredible opportunities it’s presented me on and off the pitch, and the lifelong friends and incredible people I’ve met from all over the world.
What are your favourite top four memories during your career so far?
First Premier league title, Cup Win at St George’s Park, The entire experience in Finland (Including call up) & scoring a worldie in the first 20 seconds of Australia Club Championships Final.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Hopefully preparing for us to go win a second World Cup, but on a personal level being a more established key member of the squad/stater.
Let’s go back to when you first tried powerchair football, how did it feel?
Absolutely incredible I’d always been passionate about football being a WBA season ticket holder so to then discover powerchair football and that WBA had a team it was just incredible. Never thought it would be possible to play football let alone for my own club and country!
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself
My most interesting fact would probably be that I spent around 10 years as a goalkeeper. Before becoming a winger, this is only my 3rd season as a winger in which time I’ve won premier league x3, European championships, WFA cup, regional league x2, APFA Club Championships.
What are your hobbies away from Powerchair football?
To be honest, most of my hobbies away from football are still football-related I like to play a lot of Fifa and Football Manager, enjoy concerts, attending any football possible. I’m also very passionate about coaching.
What have you been doing during lockdown to keep yourself busy?
Due to my ambassador role with Goals Beyond Grass I’ve been a part of a great “Get Talking” initiative so that’s been a great way to spend most of my time. As well as doing online courses, planning coaching sessions, playing games, watching movies/series and spending as much time with family and friends possible via video calls.