A talented young footballer from St Leonards has recovered from a major injury to enjoy a memorable season.
Harry Simmons has tasted success for his school, district and club in 2018/19, making for a tremendous comeback from a broken leg.
In October 2017, Harry broke his femur on his left leg and fractured the growth plate in his left knee when playing for Hastings United under-15s.
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He was out of football for four months, but when he returned, he had a determination to get fit and back to playing football, as he used to.
Harry was looking forward to the 2018/19 season, in which he was sponsored by Tom’s Ground Works, to see where it may lead him on his football path and he has come back stronger than ever.
The 16-year-old was part of the The St Leonards Academy team which won the U16 Sussex Schools’ Shield and scored in the 4-2 victory over Patcham High School in the final.
Two weeks ago, Harry was part of the South East Sussex district’s under-16 boys’ representative team which won the prestigious South of England Croydon Challenge Trophy, becoming south east regional champions for the first time.
The left-back delivered the free kick which led to the opening goal as South East Sussex beat Blackheath Schools’ FA 4-0 in the final at Eastbourne Borough FC.
Later that same day, Harry was awarded three trophies at the Hastings United Academy presentation evening.
He won the players’ player and supporters’ player awards in his team, and received the academy-wide Steve Smith Cup.
To be recognised for all three awards is testament to Harry’s recovery and the effort he has channelled into his football during the 2018/19 season.
Harry’s football manager Marc Gall has been a massive influence in his development and growth. His parents described the support received from Gall and the Hastings United Academy as ‘amazing’.
Harry is currently sitting his GCSE exams at The St Leonards Academy and will move on to East Sussex College Hastings in September to study sports/football in a course linked to Hastings United.