Keighley's Sohail is closer to his football dream

Keighley News: FA-qualified football coach, Sohail Rehman FA-qualified football coach, Sohail Rehman

Two Leeds United stars supported a wheelchair-bound FA-qualified football coach when he hosted his first tournament on Sunday.

Sohail Rehman, 20, of Keighley, who dreams of managing in the Football League one day, held the competition at Soccer City Leeds.

It was an open-age tournament that brought together Yorkshire teams under the watchful eye of Leeds footballers Ross McCormack and Noel Hunt.

Mr Rehman said: “This was my first big event. It’s mainly based on getting all the local community together from different parts of Yorkshire.

“It’s such a great feeling knowing you are organising it. I also want to say a massive thank you to Soccer City – they have been amazing with me, really amazing.

“Ross McCormack and Noel Hunt are supporting my cause and my ambition in chasing my dream of being a Football League manager or coach one day.”

The Keighley News reported in April how Mr Rehman received a congratulatory letter from then Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson when he passed his coaching badges.

“Since then it has been a great few months with the support I’ve got from so many different people,” said Mr Rehman, who is head coach at Class on Grass, an organisation he founded.

Mr Rehman, a Manchester United supporter, was born with spinal muscular atrophy. He was able to walk on his toes as a young child but, at the age of 11, he started to get tired after a few steps and became confined to a wheelchair two years later.

Among those supporting Mr Rehman are Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, who invited him to Liverpool as a guest when he unveiled his new book on Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.

Mr Balague wrote: “It’s a story of courage, determination and passion; one that lifts the heart, invigorates the soul and fundamentally makes us all realise that, despite the attitude of many, football truly isn’t a matter of life and death.”

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