We interviewed Pompey defender Roger Whitehouse about playing for Portsmouth FC’s amputee team and his experience playing for his country in a European championship.
Roger, who was born with a limb deficiency, found Amputee football in 2016 after one of the technicians at Portsmouth enablement centre (where he had his prosthetic made) suggested taking up the sport. Since his first session, the Portsmouth FC squad have always had a core team, and have a strong bond due to this. One player that has had a big impact on Roger’s career is Portsmouth FC’s Midfielder, Ray Westbrook. Being described as “the passion of the team”. Ray was the only player to have played amputee football when Portsmouth was formed, leading to all the players learning off him and striving of his passion for the sport and the team.
The ex-England defender has always been a Pompey fan and says that “The opportunity to play Amputee Football has given him the chance to play the sport he loves on a level playing field, at an elite level and competing in major tournaments”. Portsmouth FC have achieved many amazing things whilst Roger has been part of the team, his favourite being when Portsmouth won the league cup for the first time in February of 2018.
In 2017, Roger was selected to play for the England amputee squad for the European Amputee football championship in Turkey. England reached the final in the tournament after topping the group in the group stages, beating Greece 8-0 in their opening match. They progressed through the knockout stages beating France 2-0 and Spain 3-0. The final of the European Amputee football championship was watched live by over 41,000 spectators, Roger being part of the squad. Roger described the experience as “amazing” and said, “it was completely different than playing for Pompey, as there was a lot more pressure on the pitch to play in a certain style”. He went on to say that he was “Lucky to have a great squad when he was involved, it just made my whole experience that little bit better!”. Roger and the rest of the team are incredibly valued across the Pompey family, Roger highlighted, “The camaraderie between the players and coaches” being his favourite part of playing for Pompey.
Callum Fowler and Patrice Link have been joint head coaches for Pompey since 2020 and say that the team are “like a family” when they are together. Callum also went on to say that Roger has become “an inspiration” to any young and upcoming amputee footballers and says he is “incredibly proud” of what he has achieved.
We are incredibly proud of our Amputee squad, and we can’t wait to see what they accomplish this season.