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Former England football physio gets lifetime achievement award

11 June 2014 - 11:30am

Fred Street, former physio to the England football team, was guest of honour at the inaugural Football Medical Association (FMA) annual conference last month where he was given a lifetime achievement award.

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Former physio to the England football team, Fred Street. Photo: Football Medical Association

Mr Street, now in his eighties, was England physio for more than 20 years, working with a succession of managers including Don Revie, Ron Greenwood and Sir Bobby Robson. He was reunited at the awards ceremony with colleagues he trained with during the 1950s.

Eamonn Salmon, chief executive of the FMA and formerly team physio at Manchester City, said it was moving to see some of the pioneers of physiotherapy in football brought together. ‘They hadn’t met for 25 years,’ he added.

The role of physiotherapy in football clubs has changed beyond recognition, Mr Salmon said.

‘Up until the early nineties, any problem at all, you had to deal with it. It really was an extended role – doctor, counsellor, you were the only person. There were very limited resources and you did seven days a week, 48 weeks a year.’

Now, at the top clubs, the physio is likely to be part of a team of medics and scientists, he said, although there is ‘massive disparity’ between Premier League clubs and those in the lower divisions where resources are still stretched.

The FMA was set up by Mr Salmon in 2010 as the League Medical Association to represent a wide range of professionals involved behind the scenes at professional football clubs. Members include physiotherapy staff, doctors, nutritionists and sports psychologists. The association’s new name, announced at the conference, better reflects ‘what we’re about’, said Mr Salmon. 

  • Mr Street also received a ‘1000 club’ award, along with 17 other physiotherapists who were recognised for providing support in more than 1,000 games of professional football

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