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Published 18 April 2023 6 min read
England Para Teams

Lucindha Lawson looks ahead to a big year for England women's deaf team

Written by:

Alec McQuarrie

We catch up with Para Lions star Lucindha Lawson ahead of a busy 2023 for the England women's deaf team
England deaf women’s star Lucindha Lawson had to work harder than most to reach the top of the game and now she is reaping the rewards.

Blessed with an unrelenting work ethic and an infectious smile, Lawson admits she was far from a natural when she first started playing football at the age of nine.

The defender had only acquired wider means of communication a year previously, having spent her early years home-schooled and restricted to a family-specific system of signs and gestures.

Therefore, Lawson was forced to play catch up both on and off the field.

Lawson said: “Some people have natural ability when it comes to football but I had to work really hard to get where I am now.

“I wasn’t the best when I came into the GB squad in 2010, but I’ve really improved over time. I’m physically strong, aggressive, passionate, committed and quick.
Lucindha in training with her Para Lions teammates at St. George's Park
Lucindha in training with her Para Lions teammates at St. George's Park
“I know I need to work on my fitness level, but I will get better. My strengths are helping the team: winning the ball back and feeding other players.”

It was this team-centric approach that turned Lawson and her teammates from also-rans to history-makers last year.

Lawson said: “Winning the Futsal Euros last year was the best thing ever. In the final, we were 3-0 up and unfortunately, we had poor preparation prior to the tournament.

“We tried to defend and Spain brought it back to 3-2 implementing the fly goalkeeper tactic. When the final whistle went, we were all just relieved.

“To lift the trophy was such a proud moment, achieving that for England.

“I’ve got three third-place medals so finally I’ve got gold, a different colour, so that feels good.”


The 2023 Deaf Futsal Champions League winner may now be one of the older members of England’s deaf football and Futsal team at 32 but rejects the notion that there is a profound hierarchy within the group.

“I think I’m now one of the role models, especially for deaf children and younger people, but I wouldn’t say I’m a leader in the team,” insisted Lawson.

“We’re all the same in the team. We lead together. Everyone’s positive and happy. I smile all the time to influence the others to smile as well.”

At the start of an all-important year that sees the team travel to Brazil for the World Deaf Futsal Championships, the Para Lions had the perfect preparation especially now the team will be focusing on the small-sided format of Futsal.
England’s Cerebral Palsy, Partially-Sighted and both Deaf teams convened in Tenerife to undergo invaluable warm weather training back in January.

And as Lawson discovered, it was the perfect opportunity for inter-squad bonding too.
Lawson is one of the most experienced members of the England women's deaf squad
Lawson is one of the most experienced members of the England women's deaf squad
Lawson said: “The Tenerife camp in January was the first time we’ve all got together. I think that was one of the best experiences because we were mixing with all the other players.

“They were learning sign language for us and I really enjoyed it.

“I love this new structure because we’re learning lots of different things about different disabilities and it’s absolutely fascinating to watch the other teams who are amazing at what they do.

“We’ve got a really good chance of winning the World Championships if we keep training like we are doing for the next few months, definitely.”

But for Lawson, something more important than results and trophies is leaving a lasting legacy for future Para Lions to aspire to.

“I hope people remember me,” said Lawson. “I don’t have any plans to retire soon, mind. I want to keep playing until I’m 40. That’s my aim.”