A DISABILITY football club in Bury is asking people to not be ashamed of their conditions - as it desperately seeks players or risk closing after 20 years of running.

Bury Boys and Girls Disability FC, which plays in the Greater Manchester Ability Counts Football League, has seen its numbers dwindle in light of the pandemic, but is struggling to operate without a starting XI.

The team used to have a squad of players numbering in the thirties, but has seen players leave over the months and years.

Long-serving player and former captain Christopher McGinty said: "It is quite upsetting. The lad running us at the minute came through from the under 16s and he has wanted to do management for years.

"It is his first season in management and we just don't have the players. It's such a shame because the team helps everyone.

"It has gone dead quiet apart from a couple of people who have messaged to say that they are interested. There were seven players including coaches the other day at training and we just looked at each other like; 'is this the end?'. The way it's going, we won't have a team."

The team has different levels and its players have different disabilities - from epilepsy and cerebral palsy to dyslexia and anxiety.

Now, Christopher is encouraging those with disabilities to come down and join them in what can be an extremely rewarding pastime.

The 39-year-old from Summerseat has played for the team for around 15 years and has felt the benefit of the support net the team provides.

He said: "I was wary when I first joined. I thought people would take the mick out of me, but it's like one big family and I really enjoy it.

"Disability comes under a lot of things and they aren't always physical. People might be ashamed but we have some players who seriously put Sunday League players to shame.

"It's like an AA meeting - to support others. And that's what we do."

The team regularly plays against disability teams from top Premier League clubs such as Manchester United and Manchester City.

For more information, search for Bury Boys and Girls Disability FC on Facebook.