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SUPERSTAR: Amputee footballer from Bushey makes debut on pitch for Chelsea

 Published on: 17th April 2023   |   By: Holly Bullen   |   Category: Uncategorized

A Bushey teen who had his leg amputated when he was 14 months old made his debut playing for a Chelsea FC junior team this month.

Rio Woolf, 14, was born with a rare condition meaning he was missing his tibia, knee and ankle joint, but he has not let this hold him back from becoming a football superstar.

This month Rio made his debut for Chelsea FC, playing on the Chelsea FC Foundation Under 16 Pan-Disability Team against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

On April 8, the two teams came together for the half time friendly match at the Wolves’ home ground.

Speaking about the match, Rio said: “It was amazing to be at Wolves vs Chelsea, it was a surreal experience from start to finish! From the moment I walked into the ground I was so excited; playing on the pitch was a dream come true in front of so many fans, and seeing and hearing them interacting with us during and after the game was a great feeling.

“I had so many people come up to congratulate me as I was walking back to the car after the game, and it was fantastic to see the incredible reaction on social media after the match.”

Rio also regularly trains with the Chelsea FC Amputees after he was scouted by team captain Mark Smith.

He said: “I train every couple of weeks with the Chelsea Amputees squad and it has improved my game tremendously with the outstanding coaching. There is a real togetherness within the team and it’s the highlight of my fortnight – I hope to represent Chelsea and England in the future.

“I went to the Chelsea training ground to meet the Premier League squad a couple of weeks ago and it was amazing seeing the players that I watch on TV every week in person! They were all so friendly and took time to speak to everyone and take photos.”

To keep up to date with Rio, head to or search ‘bladeboyrio’ on Instagram and Twitter.


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