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Blind football prodigy from Plaistow is awards finalist

Liam Archer, 15, from Plaistow was invited to train with the England blind football team last year. Liam Archer, 15, from Plaistow was invited to train with the England blind football team last year.

Friday, November 16, 2012
6:00 AM

An extraordinary young sportsman from Plaistow has been shortlisted for a London-wide award for inspirational youngsters.

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Liam Archer, 15, has made it through to the finals of the Spirit of London Awards for his huge contribution to sports clubs in and around Newham and for being a positive active role model, not only for young people, but for those with disabilities.

Liam lost his sight when he was six-years-old but he attended Triatholn and judo sessions at New City Primary School in New City Road before deciding to focus on B1 football.

He spent some time playing in pan-disability teams before representing Newham and Essex in the sport - even travelling to Wales to play against two other bling children in BI games.

Three years ago, Liam joined the Middlesex BI football team where he trains every Saturday and last year he was invited to train with the all-England team in Hereford.

Since, Liam has been an inspiration to others by giving talks in both mainstream and specialist schools as an advocate for blind football giving demonstrations and talking about other disability sports.

Brave Liam even spoke about being a blind sportsman in front of 300 people at Lords Cricket Ground.

Now in their fourth year, the Spirit of London Awards are run by the Damilola Taylor Trust as a way of celebrating and shining a spotlight on young people who are making a positive difference in their communities.

The upcoming awards are supported by Prime Minister David Cameron who said: “The Spirit of London Awards are a great way to recognise young role models in London.

“Young people are not only the future, they are the best resource this country has.”

Youngsters are nominated by members of the public and winners are decided by a panel of industry professionals and judges.

Over 4,000 nominations were received this year across 10 categories that are shortlisted to a final three.

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at the 02 Arena in Greenwich on December 10.

Information and tickets are available from www.spiritoflondonawards.com.

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