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Community Hero: City v Villa

5 April 2018

Norwich City are delighted to welcome Bradley Richardson as the Community Hero for Saturday's Sky Bet Championship fixture against Aston Villa (12:30pm).

Bradley, 21, who is on the Autistic spectrum and struggles with a stammer, has been an enthusiastic participant of the Community Sports Foundation's (CSF) disability programmes for a number of years.

Initially a member of CSF's weekly pan-disability soccer centre sessions when he first joined as a 14-year-old, he quickly became a familiar face at the Foundation's courses in both term-time and holidays.

A keen footballer, Bradley soon made the leap to the Adult Disability Player Development Centre, which has seen him travel the country and represent the Canaries against equivalent teams, including the likes of Arsenal, Queens Park Rangers & Manchester City.

Bradley's sporting successes with the Foundation translated off the pitch too, and his ever-growing confidence resulted in him taking on a part-time role at the Football Club as a cleaner, as part of the stand maintenance team.

His real passion, however, was in groundskeeping and in 2014 he enrolled at Easton & Otley College to study horticulture.

Through his connections with the club and the Foundation, he was able to continue working at Carrow Road in a volunteer capacity while he studied, helping to assist ground staff with pitch maintenance one day a week.

Following the completion of his College course, and after impressing Head Groundsman Gary Kemp with his work-ethic, Bradley was offered a full-time assistant role at the Club, which sees him based at both Carrow Road and Colney training centre.

Despite a busy work-life, he has continued to stay involved in the Foundation's disability programmes.

Last year, he was included in the football squad to represent Norfolk at the Special Olympics GB's National Summer Games in Sheffield, where his efforts were rewarded with a silver medal.

Darren Hunter, the Foundation’s Disability Development Manager, told canaries.co.uk: "Since Bradley first joined us at our sessions, he has never made a secret of his desire to work for the Club, and help to keep the turf at Carrow looking so pristine.

"To watch him develop with us, overcome his own barriers, and - to top it all off - achieve a lifelong dream, is wonderful.

"As well as being a fantastic role model to some of our younger participants, he is a perfect example of what can be achieved through dedication, hard work and perseverance."

Please give a big Carrow Road welcome to Bradley on Saturday as he brings out the matchball ahead of our game against Villa.

At every Sky Bet Championship home match, Norwich City will invite a deserving community-minded individual(s) to be their 'Community Hero' and place the matchball on to a special plinth prior to kick-off.

Whether the individual works in the emergency services or the armed forces, is a carer or charity champion, a superfan or a regional sporting hero, the initiative celebrates their contribution to the local community.

If there is anyone you think deserves special recognition for their community efforts or personal achievements, please visit our official Community Hero page.


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