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Deaf Football Coach Wins Award

Deaf Coach Chris  Gwynn Scores Top Award
9:30am Sunday 13th February 2011
By Chris GregoryA DEAF football coach, who represented Great Britain as a player and as a manager, has been honoured with a top award.  Chris Gwynn, of Cranesfield, Sherborne St John, won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the inaugural Deaf Sports Personality of the Year at Wembley Stadium.

Around 900 people were told about Mr Gwynn’s impressive list of achievements, which include winning a gold medal at the World Deaf Games in 1989 with the GB Men side.

The 59-year-old said: “It was so nice and I abso-lutely didn’t expect it. My wife knew before me and managed to keep it a secret!”

Mr Gwynn, who grew up on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales, was partially deaf due to jaundice he suffered as an infant.

As a teenager, he moved to West Berkshire to attend the Mary Hare School for profoundly deaf children near Newbury.

The Swansea City fan played football for his school team and had a trial with West Ham United. But his real success came with the GB Men deaf football team where he took part in three World Deaf Games, including the tournament-winning 1989 side.

As a coach, Mr Gwynn led the GB Men side to gold at the Deaflympics in Australia in 2005, and was the Chef de Mission for the entire GB team at the Summer Deaflympics in Taiwan in 2009.

He returned to Mary Hare School to coach other deaf football players, and is still working there part-time.

Mr Gwynn said there are many good players in deaf football, but that it does differ from mainstream football.

He told The Gazette: “I suppose the main difference is the difficulty in communication. You do not get the passing movement – you get a lot of running with the ball and attacking the spaces.

“As a coach, it’s very difficult to shout out instructions during a game because the players have to be watching you.

“I tend to analyse the game, and come half-time, I try and put right anything that is not going according to plan.”

Chris Gwynn - Deaf Sports Personality Of the Year
Lifetime Achievement Award winner