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Norwich Powerchair footballer eyes hat-trick of FA Cup finals - with help from her Nan's friends

Powerchair footballer Rosie Hodgson (front) pictured at Lanchester Court in Norwich with (from left) her nan Brenda Hodgson, Lanchester Court social organisers Roy and Maureen Westgate, and mum Tina Hodgson. Pic: Andy Newman.

Powerchair footballer Rosie Hodgson (front) pictured at Lanchester Court in Norwich with (from left) her nan Brenda Hodgson, Lanchester Court social organisers Roy and Maureen Westgate, and mum Tina Hodgson. Pic: Andy Newman.

Andy Newman

A Powerchair footballer is looking to achieve her goal of appearing in a third consecutive FA Cup final – with a crucial assist from residents at a Norwich sheltered housing scheme.

Rosie Hodgson, 19, will be using her £7,500 specialist powered wheelchair in the semi-final match next month for Watford-based Aspire PFC.

If the team wins, it will be the third year in a row that she will have taken part in the final, at the England National Football Training Centre at St George’s Park – having scored the winning goal in the 2017 final.

And part of the money to buy her top-of-the-range chair was raised by residents at Lanchester Court, a sheltered housing scheme run by Norwich Housing Society, where Rosie’s grandmother Brenda Hodgson has lived for the past nine years.

Residents at Lanchester Court, which is situated between Adelaide Street and Old Palace Road in Norwich, held a series of fundraising events, music nights and activities afternoons, raising a total of £1,500 towards the cost of Rosie’s chair.

She said: “When Nan told her fellow residents that I needed a specialist chair to take part in Powerchair football at the highest level, they rallied round and undertook to raise funds to help me.

“There seems to be a great family spirit at Lanchester Court, and I’m really grateful for all their efforts.”

Lanchester Court resident Roy Westgate, who chairs the scheme’s social committee, added, “We heard all about Rosie from Brenda, and decided we wanted to help.

“We initially set out with the aim of raising a few hundred pounds, but the momentum really got going, and in the end we were able to contribute £1,500 towards the cost of the chair.”

Rosie, who lives with her mum Tina Hodgson in the city, was diagnosed with a rare form of primary lymphoedema at just 18 months old.

She has been hugely successful in the sport of Powerchair football, also winning the Premiership and competing in the Champion’s League.

She is currently studying photography at Norwich University of the Arts and, away from her sporting successes, is hoping to pursue a career as a teacher.

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