South London Special League

Registered Charity Number 1124629

Open Letter in memory of Shea French-Gibbens


Shea was an inspirational young man who lived with Cerebral Palsy. I have known him since he was eight years old when he was the first member of Greenwich PFC.

Without Shea’s determination there would not be a Greenwich Powerchair football club. Ten years ago he fought to ensure disabled young people in Greenwich had the opportunity to play an exciting competitive team game.

They chose Football, Powerchair Football. It is the desire of so many young people to play the Beautiful Game, our common language. And so it was with Shea! With the support of Greenwich Council, Greenwich PFC was born!


I have so many joyous  memories of Shea. His love of playing the game.

On one of our first tournaments away in the National League, so many years ago, he said to me that it meant so much to him to go into school and talk about the goal he scored at the tournament he played in. This was for the first time. He would be just like the other boys! Incredible! Tears welled up in my eyes when I realised the difference this meant to him and all the other young people like him..

Last year he was filmed by BBC Children in Need. He said so many incredible things about what it meant to him to play Powerchair Football, to be part of the team at GPFC and how the friends he made had opened up his life! He was an inspiration to us all and so many other disabled children.

Shea receives his Jack Petchey award in 2012 from the Mayor of Royal Greenwich, David Grant and Nick Raynesford MP

2 comments on “Open Letter in memory of Shea French-Gibbens

  1. Ann-Marie. Trustee

    Sharon, thank you for sharing this sad news of Shea’s passing. My heartfelt sorrow goes out to his mother, family and friends. That smile of his will surely be missed. May Shea’s young soul rest in eternal peace. Amen.

  2. Chris

    Shea, you are a fine young man. I first met you when I was composing a brochure for the SLSL. You featured in it as an example of how disability triumphs over adversity. I am very proud to have known you. Your life was short, but you achieved huge stuff. RIP, Shea, you did good, amazingly good. You will be an inspiration to the Powerchair Football League, you started it, after all. Look where it has gone. Your best mate is playing in Florida in the World Champs. How good is that?
    Your friends here will remember you with love, affection and admiration. It was a great thing you started. It will be part of your legacy.
    Chris (Sharon’s partner).

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This entry was posted on 15/05/2017 by .
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