Oli WIlcox (left) in action at the tournament
Oli WIlcox (left) in action at the tournament

Deaf footballer Oliver Wilcox was part of the team that reached the Deaf Champions League final.

The 36-year-old, of Collingham, starred for Doncaster Deaf as they finished runners-up in Europe’s premier competition for deaf footballers in Milan, Italy.

They lost 2-0 to three-time winners POK Athens in the final.

Wilcox, who joined Doncaster’s squad last year, started in the reserve team before moving up to the first-team this season. 

“We all are very proud that we are the second-best team in Europe,” he said. “We are happy to make England proud.

“It was a fantastic experience and was great to meet players from other clubs in the competition.

“The conditions in Milan were so hot, and playing five matches in six days was challenging, but it was an enjoyable experience — although I was grateful for the physio.

“The team from Athens had a lot of professional players from several different countries, so we knew it would be a tough final.”

Doncaster’s tournament started with a 6-0 success against SK Brno and advanced from the group stage despite a 4-2 loss to GSS Torino.

The quarter-final resulted in a 5-0 victory over GTSV Essen, before a nail-biting semi-final victory 3-2 on penalties, after a 0-0 draw against Istanbul Sessizler.

The final was close, with Wilcox performing strongly in defence to repel talented opposition.

After going behind in the 57th minute, Doncaster pushed for an equaliser, but were caught out on the counter-attack in the 93rd minute.

They finished the domestic season as champions, winning the North League with eight victories from ten matches.

Wilcox, who was diagnosed as profoundly deaf aged nine months, has made a number of appearances for England, winning gold at the Deaf Olympics in 2005.

Previously, he has played senior Saturday football for Newark Flowserve, Collingham and Newark Town, and on a Sunday for Farndon United. He has also represented Nottingham Deaf.

Wilcox said he would like to play for Collingham again.