ROBIN Williams lost his eyesight as a baby but that didn’t stop him opening everyone else’s eyes when he took to the Paralympic stage this summer.
The 24-year-old from North Petherton was a key member of Great Britain’s five-a-side blind team and described it as an amazing experience.
The footballer, who is studying a PhD in Statistics at Exeter University, was born fully sighted but cancer of the retina left him blind.
Speaking to the Mercury moments before he went to Sunday’s closing ceremony, he said: “I won’t realise what an amazing experience this has been for a couple of weeks yet I don’t think.
“I have come a long way since taking the sport up two years ago and even though the team didn’t do too well I am not disheartened even if I did put a lot of pressure on myself.
“I got a lot of game time and it was the toughest competition that I have ever played in so I have learnt a lot.”
In blind football, all four outfield players wear blacked out eyeshades to make sure of fairness and only the goalkeepers are fully sighted.
The football also contains metal ball bearings so it makes a noise when it moves and players can track it.
Robin now hopes to go into schools and do talks to raise awareness of his sport.
He said: “All our games were so well supported and I hope it inspires that generation of kids.
“Give it a go, contact Somerset Football Association and get involved.”
Great Britain had three group stage matches, drawing 1-1 with Spain, 0-0 with Argentina and losing 1-0 to Iran.
They then lost to China on penalties in the fifth/sixth classification match but beat Turkey 2-0 to be ranked as the seventh best team at the Games.
If you want Robin to do a talk at your school or company about his Paralympics experience email him on firstname.lastname@example.org