A youngster has defied a debilitating, lifelong condition to play in his very first football match.

Lenny Pyne, 10, was selected as goalkeeper for Coggeshall Town U8's during their latest league game.

Lenny, of Willow Tree Way, Earls Colne, was diagnosed with quadriplegia Spastic Cerebral palsy when he was just 13 months old and has previously undergone major surgery to enable him to walk with his feet flat on the ground..

Despite his daily battle with his disorder which severely affects his movement and mobility, Lenny has grown strong enough to play football unaided.

And after gaining special dispensation from the FA, he has played his first competitive match alongside younger brother Stanley.

His father Matt, who was at Lenny's first game, said: "It was an emotional match really. I help run the team and it was really something to see him fulfill a lifelong dream.

"He's gone from strength to strength since he had his operation two years ago. He still has his weekly physio to help him.

"He started playing frame football at St George's Park last year and has got better and better. But his dream has always been to play grass roots football.

"One day I decided to get in touch with Cindi Chatha at Essex FA to see if he could play for a younger age group. You hear of youngsters playing for older teams so I thought there was no reason why he couldn't play for a younger team what with his disability.

"I had to put a case together which got sent on to the FA and their medical team. They reviewed it and said he could play for a younger team.

"He was ecstatic when he found out. I kept it secret until I knew it was possible but he has been so excited leading up to the match."

Lenny's best efforts sadly proved in vain as Coggeshall slipped to a high scoring 8-3 defeat.

The result is unlikely to put him off playing however, as he now looks to make himself the team's number one goalkeeper.

His dad Matt added: "He made some great saves. He was disappointed with the result like any 10-year-old would be. But he'll bounce back and be ready to play again next weekend.

"He certainly slept well on Sunday. It's quite tiring standing unaided and throwing himself around like he did. It took a lot out of him but he loves it and had a lot of fun."