Deaf football team in Birmingham concede 126 goals in 26 games; blame it on their inability to hear referee’s whistle
To get the inevitable joke out of the way, it seems as if their complaints have, unfortunately, fallen on deaf ears…
Whenever a team finishes bottom of the league, the management and players involved will trot out all sorts of excuses in an attempt to explain their poor performance, but you’d have to have a large degree of sympathy for Birmingham Deaf FC, who finished bottom of the fifth division of the Birmingham AFA Saturday League with a tally of -6 points (more on that later) and conceded a whopping 126 goals while losing 25 of their 26 games.
You might think that Birmingham Deaf is one of those piss-takey names you’d often hear of in lower league football or five-a-side leagues, but there’s no codology at play here; they are so-called because every single member of the team – and their club secretary for that matter – are either deaf or very hard of hearing.
According to the Birmingham Mail, the club are a bit peeved that officials in the league didn’t go out of their way to accommodate them by using flags to signal fouls as well as blowing a whistle and they, fairly obviously, suffered quite badly as a result.
Pic via Birmingham Mail
Club secretary Guy Whieldon told the Birmingham Mail: “Most lads feel officials are not geared-up for a deaf team due to communication breakdowns, which cause difficulty.
“The referees are supposed to wave flags while, at the same time, blowing a whistle.
“Most referees forget to wave or simply don’t want to use a flag.”
That might sound like sour grapes, but a player from Sutton United, who played Birmingham Deaf twice and scored 20 goals without reply, backed up their grievances when speaking to the Birmingham Mail, saying: “The ref would blow for a stoppage and they would continue to play.”
As if the ignominy of losing all but one game and conceding so many goals wasn’t bad enough, Birmingham Deaf were also deducted nine points after failing to show up for three games. The video below might go some way to explaining that problem…
Thanks to their poor results, meanwhile, they will be relegated to the seventh and bottom division of the Birmingham AFA Saturday League.
Whieldon didn’t want to blame the Birmingham AFA, however, instead lamenting the lack of commitment from the players who did show up in what was meant to be a move to improve the standard of the team for their involvement in specialised deaf football.
We’re not sure if the Birmingham AFA will welcome the suggestion, but they might be interested in following the lead of a GAA referee in Galway last year, whose exploits were made famous when they were posted on Twitter by county hurling goalkeeper James Skehill…
— James Skehill (@Jskehill01) June 5, 2013
Surely it’s worth a shot.
Hat-tip: Who Ate All the Pies