When Paul Hodgsonwas seven months old, an incident occurred that was to change his life, and indeed that of everybody he came into contact with. This event continues to have an effect to this day.
It all began rather innocuously, or so it seemed. Paul was taken ill with flu-like symptoms. His family doctor reassured his mother, telling her not to worry. But when he suffered an epileptic fit a few days later followed by a second and the doctor was called out he was immediately admitted to hospital. Incredibly, a further two days went by until the hospital confirmed that Paul had contracted pneumococcal meningitis.
By then the disease had affected his brain and spinal cord – the modern terminology for this unfortunate state of affairs is cerebral palsy. Because of the delay in diagnosing his condition, the consultant told Paul’s mother to prepare for the worst. Fortunately he survived and spent nearly a year in hospital before he was well enough to be discharged.
Despite that inauspicious start, Paul has gone on to have a good life; firstly, doing well in his education, eventually achieving a Degree Level qualification; gaining full-time employment with the Civil Service; becoming a successful, award winning writer and finally marrying Jen, who since when they met, has been a great support to him.
Paul is truly an inspirational character and has huge love for his football team Darlington FC. Diamond Show Events are currently helping Paul to achieve the finance to get the funds for a film called ‘Give Them Wings’, directed by Sean Cronin, the actor who has been in movies such as: The Mummy, Harry Potter, Mission Impossible, and James Bond. The film is about Paul’s life and the struggles he has gone through, and his beloved team Darlington plays a huge part in the film. It really is a fantastic script and has already got a star studied cast on board. Therefore, we would like to put together a football game and dinner; the game will consist of ex-professional footballers versus celebrity actors, and people in the public eye. Our aim is to raise £50,000 so that filming can begin.
The Big Dinner After Party for the, Peter Withe XI VS Brian Little XI
Saturday, 1 June 2019 from 19:00-00:00
The football game and the dinner will be an amazing day, and we have many sponsorship packages to help us achieve our goal. The legends team will be led by European Cup winning star, Peter Withe, best known for "that goal" that secured Aston Villa the trophy in 1982. We will be putting two football teams together, both of the highest caliber. With all the contacts we have in the football and entertainment world, we have a very large database of famous people to fall back on in order to raise money for Paul’s film, ‘Give Them Wings’.
Brian Little ex-Darlington, Aston Villa, Leicester City and Hull City manager will lead the celebrity team. Brian’s playing career came to halt in 1980 when he retired at the age of 26 due to a knee injury; he played for Aston Villa in the League Cup winning teams of 1975 and 1977 scoring two goals in the second replay victory over Everton in the latter final, as well as helping the club climb from the third to First Division in the early part of the decade, scoring 20 league goals in the 1974-75 season.