AN ENGLAND hockey player has joined the list of Silhillians who will be carrying the Olympic Torch.
Brendan Creed, who plays for the England Under 21 team, will be taking the torch as it passes through Moss Side in Manchester on June 24.
The 19-year-old was nominated by his family after he suffered a serious back injury which put Brendan out of action for 18 months. Time which he decided instead to dedicate to coaching.
“When I found out, I was really happy,” said Brendan, who lived in Manchester previously.
“It’s a once in a lifetime thing.”
His mum Jackie said: “After his accident he went from an absolute high to absolute low. He needed major surgery on his back but he kept going and has done a lot of coaching for youngsters.
“I’m very proud of him and we wanted to do something for him to remember that.
“We can’t wait to all go up there and cheer him on.”
Sports-mad Brendan, who studies sport and exercise sciences at Sheffield Hallam, turned down offers to train with Manchester United and City football academies to play hockey for England under 18s, under 21s and England A teams. But in 2010, before he was due to play in the Commonwealth Games, he was diagnosed with fractures of the spine and told it would be months before he could return to the pitch.
But instead of sinking into a slump, Brendan decided to coach juniors and senior men while he was on the mend.
“The coaching was partly to give something back because I’ve had a lot of coaching and partly keeping me involved with hockey. Otherwise, it would have been easy to have become quite disconnected.
“I absolutely love it. I enjoy it more than playing in a way but only because you never really feel like you’ve lost in coaching.”
Brendan is now back on the England under 21s and training for his first international match this summer.