For a young non-league footballer struggling to break into the game, there could be no more terrifying prospect than losing the ability to play.
Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened to 22 year old George Dowell. Despite beginning to doubt his potential to break into the big leagues, Dowell had remained hopeful until a car wreck left him paralysed from the chest down.
His love for the game was not dampened by the tragedy. He told the BBC “nothing beats playing, ask any retired player. You have to find the next best thing and the next best thing is being a coach or an owner.”
Dowell used the compensation money he receieved from the accident to lift Worthing FC out of financial trouble, becoming a majority shareholder. His investments, which he says will total ‘hundreds of thousands of pounds’, will extend beyond the club and into the community, with access to the new 3G pitch available to all.
The story is a particularly inspiring example of fan ownership, which is becoming increasingly common in British football.