A brand new deaf team has been established at Radcliffe FC, and will be known as Radcliffe Deaf FC, writes Kieran Wilson.

Radcliffe FC are delighted announce that we have established a brand new deaf team. The team will join the English Deaf League - which saw Farsley Celtic crowned champions in the last campaign - and will be the first deaf team in Greater Manchester.

Radcliffe Chairman, Paul Hilton, said - “I am delighted to announce the formation of Radcliffe Deaf FC. Radcliffe DFC, as we will be known, is an important step towards stronger engagement with the disability community and contributes to our values of enhancing the wellbeing of those around us.

The team will be competing in the English Deaf League which only last Sunday was given prime time focus on BT Sport as the final game in the FA Disability Cup weekend at St Georges Park and in doing so showcased the quality of football already on display within the Deaf game. The Greater Manchester area was, until now, underrepresented in this area and we are proud to be able to offer the opportunities to local deaf players to showcase their ability wearing the Radcliffe badge.

Over the last few months I have had the pleasure of working with Harvey Waldron and his committee to bring this plan to fruition and I am very excited to get started on this project and take on some of the best in the game. We are already engaging with potential community partners and hope to be able to bring more news on that soon. The Deaf Community has always been close to my heart through my own personal experiences growing up, so it gives me huge pleasure to be able to provide the platform for Deaf players to participate and succeed in our great sport.”

Radcliffe DFC Coach, Harvey Waldron, said - “I’m happy to be part of Radcliffe as the club’s ambitions and the drive were exactly what I was looking for. I’m hoping that this will benefit the deaf team.

We are looking forward to be representing Radcliffe Football club, the Manchester and Bury Deaf communities in England Deaf Football Competitions. Our aim is to build the club season by season based on core values and principles of Radcliffe Football Club, but ultimately it’s about having fun and enjoying the beautiful game. The deaf community is quite small so the word will spread quickly and we hope the excitement will show via players and the fans.”

Deaf football is played under the same rules as regular football, but with one important addition - the Referee also has a flag in order to signal to the players that he has blown his whistle.