Beneficiary Story: Finley

Beneficiary Case Study: 8
Beneficiary Name: Finley
Muscle Warriors Powerchair Football Club Player
Date: July 2023

One of the Muscle Warriors Powerchair Football Club’s players is Finley, aged 10, who lives with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2. He uses a powered wheelchair for mobility and, in his mum Rosalie’s very own words, is ‘mad about football’, whether it be watching, playing FIFA gaming online or playing the sport himself.

“HAPPINESS IS… POWERCHAIR FOOTBALL! Finley is over the moon to be attending his first Muscle Warrior Powerchair Football training session. He’s been for two sessions and can’t wait to get back from the moment the training ends! Thanks so much for your help getting us started and to the wonderful team and families for being so welcoming. It’s made a little boy’s football dreams come true!”

Source: Rosalie, Mum of Finley

As well as providing bespoke group and individual transformational interventions to children and young people living with Muscular Dystrophy (MD), the Muscle Help Foundation (MHF) charity also has a powerchair football club called Muscle Warriors Powerchair Football Club (PFC) which the charity has sponsored for 10 years.

The most important information that Finley (pictured below with his dad Joel) always points out to anyone that he meets, is that he supports Watford Football Club and Liverpool Football Club even though the family lives in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire.


The Muscle Warriors Powerchair Football Club (PFC) provides a supportive sporting environment for players to experience the thrills and excitement of a sport that’s growing globally. The Muscle Warriors PFC plays in the Wheelchair Football Association (WFA) Cup National League Championship, often referred to as the Championship – this is the second level of the English Powerchair Football league pyramid. The Muscle Warriors PFC also plays in the South East Powerchair Football League. In the 2022/23 Championship, Muscle Warriors Powerchair Football Club (PFC) finished in 6th place out of 14 clubs across the country.

Finley’s mum Rosalie said:

We had joined another wheelchair football club in Milton Keynes pre-COVID which wasn’t linked to the Muscle Help Foundation. At that stage, this group wasn’t playing in a league, didn’t have any powerchair’s available to use specifically for football and it was looking to disband.

But even so, Finley was delighted as they provided him with a bumper that attached to his powerchair, and the big sports hall provided plenty of room (with the bonus of smooth terrain) for a great kick about.

It was a small group, and most team-mates were in manual chairs being pushed by carers and parents. Finley really looked forward to seeing them and playing each week, but sadly, COVID then hit, and the sessions stopped for obvious reasons”.

Like many families living with MD, the pandemic was a challenging time, but once the dust settled and Finley and his family no longer needed to shield, they were eager to get back into powerchair football.

Rosalie continues:

“I realised that Finley needed a proper football outlet. He was in goal at school playtimes, but he was aware that his powerchair caused a barrier between him and the other children, plus he was concerned about accidentally hurting someone. I did quite a lot of research into clubs and found The Muscle Help Foundation charity website and saw that the charity sponsored a powerchair football club. So, I contacted Michael the CEO, who then put me in direct contact with the club coaches.

“Finley was very excited indeed and eager to get going immediately when we arrived for his first session. He couldn’t wait to try out a purpose-built football powerchair and test out its handling and capabilities! We were warmly welcomed; the hall was bustling with players of different ages and abilities and three different teams.

“Joel, Finley’s father, and I transferred Finley with the hoist provided into a club chair which was then adjusted for him. He did need some extra padding and his arm was only just able to reach the controller. We had explained to him that the chair probably would not be an immediate fit as any equipment always needs tweaking, but that didn’t put him off at all.

“We will need to purchase his own chair at some point but thankfully, the club allows you to rent their chair for the time being. Once he was all strapped in, off he went, very cautiously at first but he soon gained confidence throughout the session and was beaming from ear to ear! Finley was quite tired after the first session but couldn’t stop talking about it and said he couldn’t wait until next week – in fact this has been a recurring theme each Sunday!”


Talking about the impact that the Muscle Warriors PFC has had on Finley, Rosalie goes on to say:

“Finley is learning all about sport, team play and different capabilities – he also has the opportunity to socialise with others who have physical disabilities, something he doesn’t do much as he attends mainstream school. It’s a positive and at times competitive atmosphere, with great banter, which he relishes. He loves sport but it can be difficult to access and involves a fair bit of research and travel. Having said that, we have found some wonderful charities like The Muscle Help Foundation, that make things possible”.

Rosalie adds: “Charities like the Muscle Help Foundation are so very important as they acknowledge and foster inclusion and fun, something that can, on a bad day, with a muscular condition be severely lacking.”


Finley’s enthusiasm for sport and adventures knows no bounds either, as he has recently been sailing, does sit-skiing at the indoor snow dome and last summer we went on an exhausting adventure holiday where he kayaked, abseiled, zip wired, played archery and swam.

Now in its 17th season, the WFA’s National League competition comprises Premiership and Championship divisions, with 24 teams competing over 11 weekends. Contested by 12 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the National League Premiership and Regional League play-off fixtures. Seasons run from September to June with each team playing 22 matches (playing all 11 other teams twice) over five weekends.

Michael McGrath, MBE and CEO of the Muscle Help Foundation charity says:

“I am so delighted that Finley has joined the Muscle Warriors Powerchair Football Club. It’s wonderful to hear that Finley is thriving in what is a supportive and inclusive sporting environment. The reason MHF fund the club is for the very reason that it exists to improve a young players attributes such as self-confidence and self-esteem. Active participation also improves interpersonal skills including listening and responding as well as looking out for and encouraging other players in the team.

Teamwork really does make the Muscle Warriors PFC dream work – not only did the club win the 2014-15 WFA National Championships but this year sees its 10th anniversary, so that’s 10 seasons over 10 years which is all down the army of volunteers who make it happen. With the new 2023/24 season fast approaching, I know the players are keen to get back into their chairs and do what they love doing.

In this new post-pandemic world, we know just how important the Muscle Warrior PFC social events are that we organise with the aim to bring players, families, the coach, the manager, and other volunteers together – this not only helps reduce isolation and feelings of being alone but also enables supportive friendships to be established. Our events are not only fun and memorable, but we know they also fuel a very real sense of emotional and mental wellbeing in reinforcing that sense of belonging and shared spirit, unique to the club, often referred to as a family within a family – on this point, we’re looking forward to supporting Finley in ensuring he feels a part of the Muscle Warriors PFC team family. Bring on the new season!”



Contact the charity HERE should you have any further questions.



We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.