Pioneer coach’s new role with soccer giants

Sohail Rehman
Sohail Rehman
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The world’s first wheelchair-bound football coach for able-bodied players has landed a dream role at Manchester United.

Sohail Rehman, 22, from Keighley, will work for Manchester United Soccer Schools and has two roles, coaching teenagers who go to the club for a trial and visiting schools to train children on behalf of United.

He became the world’s first wheelchair bound football coach of able-bodied players last year after passing his coaching badges. After starting out with Sunday league teams, he set his sights on the top level of sport.

He landed the job despite being born with spinal muscular atrophy, which meant he was confined to a wheelchair by his teens.

He said: “When the chance to play was taken away from me I think it was the only option I had really. I could watch the game but I always wanted to do more than watch it. I did it all the way up to college and then once I got to college they said to me you know so much about sports why don’t you do sports.

“I decided to take them up on that. Through the sports development course at college I decided to take my FA badges and then basically got into it full time.”