A Paralympic footballer who represented Team GB during the London 2012 Paralympic Games says he is living proof that you should never give up on your dreams.
Alistair Patrick-Heselton, 33, a former Wycombe Wanderers schoolboy star, spoke as he urged people to be part of the event on Friday 2nd September 2016 at Aylesbury’s Vale Park celebrating the Heritage Flame Lighting at Stoke Mandeville Stadium.
Alistair, who also played for QPR and Oldham, was so seriously hurt in an accident in 2006 following which doctors warned his family to expect the worst. He was in a coma for several weeks and was later warned he may never walk again however he recovered sufficiently to play and score for the GB team against Argentina at London 2012.
Although Alistair still suffers from cerebral palsy symptoms which slow down co-ordination he is happily married with a young son, has run his own businesses and is an accomplished public speaker.
Alistair told his story almost ten years to the day of the accident as he urged people to join the celebrations. While the Heritage Flame will be lit at Stoke Mandeville Stadium in front of an audience of 1,400 VIPs and ticket ballot winners, thousands more will celebrate the occasion from 6.00pm in Vale Park.
Alistair missed out being selected for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games but is looking forward to the celebrations.
‘Stoke Mandeville is the birthplace of the Paralympic movement and celebrating that is a tradition that we should always hang onto. The flame symbolises that inspiration – it can never be stopped and is a reminder of what can be achieved when you keep believing and keep trying.‘ said Alistair.
Alistair is now an athlete mentor, visiting schools around the country to inspire interest in sport. He also works with Sky Sports on its Living For Sport initiative.
He added: ‘I am trying to hold the light and shine the torch for anyone who had their dreams taken away from them. I am living proof that if you keep believing and keep trying, you can always get to your dreams.‘