Fulham Deaf Football Club would like to pay a tribute to Nick Beese, who has made the shocking decision to hang up his boots for good last week.

This difficult decision, was made after his surgery on Tuesday 10th February 2009, which was his 4th operation in the last 3 and a half years on his troublesome knee and on the advice of both his specialist and sports physiotherapist he was told to cease playing competitive football, otherwise his knee injury would continue to recur.

You might be interested to know that Nick was the one who established the Fulham Deaf Football Club after holding a series of meetings with Fulham Football Community Chief Officer, Gary Mulcahey back in early 2003. He also helped to organise the successful trial day in the early summer of 2003, which attracted in excess of 70 potential players for Fulham, thereby allowing the team to set up a new squad for the coming debut season.

Nick is also the chairman of FDFC and has been the Club Captain since 2004. He has spent a lot of his personal time trying to ensure that FDFC continues to grow from strength to strength with each passing year, and he should also be commended for establishing the Fulham Deaf Ladies and Fulham Deaf Reserves teams along with developing the FDFC Youth set-up.

Nick also proudly represented Great Britain Deaf Football for several years, the greatest highlight of which was leading team GB to gold medal success in the 2005 Deaflympics in Melbourne, Australia in his role as team captain. His experience and will to win, helped steer the team towards winning all 6 matches in Melbourne, against Ireland (2-0 – group match), Australia (5-1 – group match), Greece (2-0 – group match), Turkey (4-1 – quarter final), Germany (4-1 – semi final) and Iran (2-1) in the final.

In addition, Nick was also selected to be part of a squad of 20 players representing the men’s Great Britain Deaf Football in the Deaflympics 2009 in Taipei (China) from 25th August to 17th September 2009.

Nick is currently a GB Trustee, and he has confirmed that he will continue to support GB in that role for the foreseeable future.

With regards to his Fulham career, Nick has made 134 appearances for Fulham Deaf 1st team and scored 25 goals in a span of nearly 6 years since he played his first game for Fulham Deaf 1st team back in the summer of 2003, which sadly turned out to be his last game in a Fulham shirt, against local rivals St Johns of Arsenal Deaf FC on Tuesday the 9th of December 2008.

Nick has always been consistently at the top of the fitness stakes during his time at the club and was one of the most athletic players in Fulham’s history; his dedication towards ensuring that he reached the highest fitness levels possible, was an example to follow for many Fulham players, both past and present.

Nick was a figurehead to FDFC, he was not just any player, but the focal point of the FDFC organisation. He was a great, great player to have worked with and FDFC described him as “a perfect gentleman” and “an ideal role model” was it not for the injury, there would be the question that he would have had many more caps/appearances for both GB and FDFC.

He decided to leave football saying he wanted to retire now rather than risk further injury, following the lengthy series of operations he has endured. He is one of the most widely respected and highly regarded deaf football players in history and is a great inspiration to all FDFC players. He can walk away from the game with his head held high, knowing that in the face of seemingly endless hardship and adversity, he prevailed, while remaining a consummate professional, a true football player, and perhaps above all else, a classic White!

Everyone at FDFC is sad to see Nick ending his football career and would like to say a big thank you for six years of dedicated and professional playing service. He will be sorely missed by his team mates, who will still nonetheless, look forward to continuing to work with him as he carries on as FDFC Chairman and to see him providing further inspiration from the sidelines, either as a supporter or working behind the scenes.