All our research is curated and peer-reviewed giving you access to an unmatched library of information all in one place.

Editorial: Special Issue: Theology, Disability and Sport: Reflections on Physical and Intellectual Impairment and Well-Being

One of the most touching scenes in Jim Sheridan’s Oscar-winning film My Left Foot features a penalty kick in a street game of soccer. The film tells the story of the Dublin artist Christy Brown, who was born with cerebral palsy in 1932. Brown grew up in working-class Dublin, fully accepted and integrated into the life of the neighbourhood around him. As a teenager, he was included in the hard-fought games of football played out in the laneways around his house, goalkeeping effectively while lying on the ground. In this particular scene, playing against some boys who do not know Christy well, there is derision and mocking as he is carried forward to take a penalty kick. The opposing keeper is scornful of the threat posed by this severely disabled man, who then promptly places the ball skillfully beyond his reach with the use of his famous left foot. The prejudice that perceives an incongruity between disability and displays of sporting competence was painfully laid bare for that goalkeeper, left to defend his performance against his angry teammates while Christy is warmly celebrated by his companions. (PUBLICATION ABSTRACT)