Inspiration Award 2009 - Seans nomination Print E-mail
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Sean was nominated by his father Daniel Lambie. Here is his nomination form.....

My son Sean, by Daniel Lambie

Football, or at least the parlance around it, is a game of clichés. Hackneyed phrases flood the airwaves, pundits make handsome livings recycling familiar sound bites. One word that pops up more than most is pride. Whether uttered by the Glaswegian brogue of the godfather of the modern game, Alex Ferguson, or the hysterical soccer mom squealing with delight from the sidelines of their child’s Sunday morning game, pride is a word so overused to have lost much of its gravitas.

So I’m nervous to start this article with maybe the biggest cliché of all.

But pride is appropriate.

Our son, Sean, made a brief appearance on the hallowed Hampden turf as a mascot in the Scotland versus Czech Republic match. To his mother and I, this was the defining statistic. While the commentators and pundits pontificated over Craig Levein’s first game in charge, the return of prodigal sons, the first friendly win in a decade and a half, we left the match with our very own sense of pride.

Like so many who grace the playing surface of the national stadium, Sean’s appearance, sat in a wheelchair in an oversized Adidas jacket, was the culmination of an arduous personal journey. Throughout he pushed himself beyond the limits others had set for him, overcame setbacks with the determination that separates the champions from the also-rans.

Sean’s cerebral palsy, we’d like to think, was not the reason he was there. His award as TACC’s inspirational child of the year was much more about how he has not only coped with the hand dealt him, but shook it vigorously and nonchalantly. As Sean’s carers, we are charged with providing him comfort. Ironic then that it is his bright demeanour and simple contentment that offer us, and many others around him, a comfort (and perspective) no-one else can provide.

In the chill of the tunnel, snorting gladiators became hypnotized by the ninety minutes ahead. Deep heat brought tears to the eye. Darius leapt excitedly. Sean sat impassively beside Graham Dorrans, a terrified looking debutant.

The players moved en masse onto the turf, greeted by flag waving and the howls from the crowd. As fireworks shot into the dark Glaswegian sky, one of the other mascots turned and ran back into the tunnel, frightened by the spectacle.

Sean looked small and further away than his nervous parents would have liked, but also decidedly pleased with himself.

Darius struggled through a unique rendition of Flower of Scotland and Sean joined in, even trying to grab at the cameraman’s lens for an extended and exclusive slice of televised fame.

And then, all too soon, his appearance was over.

He spent the rest of the match blowing excitedly on his kazoo, even rising from his chair to join in the celebrations following Scott Brown’s winner. As a boy with a very limited attention span, someone more usually hidden in an obsessive world of matching shapes and peculiar collections, he showed a focus and concentration throughout the evening that surprised us.

For days afterwards he remained on a high. Any glimpse of football on the television was greeted by a leap and squeal. Being the inspirational child of the year had, for Sean, been an inspiration.

His brief appearance did not make the match reports. It will not make as much as a footnote in the historical annals of our national game.

But for Sean, his mother and I, it will be a memory that ranks beside the great performances of Law, Dalglish, McFadden et al.

So the article finishes as it started - with a cliché.

The boy done good.


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