When Manchester City scouts discovered Jamie Tregaskiss at the age of 10, his development and dream of becoming a professional footballer was off to a promising start.
The young prodigy continued to impress scouts and it felt like the start of something new but it was at the age of 13 when the striker felt a pain he’ll never forget.
“Naturally, I thought nothing of it because footballers get injuries all the time,” Tregaskiss said.
But his progress as a footballer at one of the most decorated clubs in England took a dramatic turn when doctors delivered the worst news possible.
It was only after matches when he persistently felt an ache in his left leg and his speed and pace during matches were severely affected.
Little did he know that this was going to be a life changing injury.
“I went to go see the club doctor and he did an x-ray on me,” he said.
“The tests came back and it showed nothing to worry about.
“I even did physiotherapy to speed up my time on the side-lines.”
A few weeks later his health started to deteriorate, suffering from weight loss and constant exhaustion.
He then went for a CT scan at the hospital and the doctors told him he had a rare form of bone cancer – affecting one in 30 people across Great Britain.
Doctors immediately had to amputate his leg or risked losing his life.
“When I was diagnosed with the bone cancer I feared I would never be able to kick a ball again,” he added.
“Not playing football again was something I found very hard to accept at the time because I was just a young teenager enjoying his football.”
The probability of becoming a professional footballer unfortunately evaporated for the teenager.
His main focus was to adjust to being fully dependant with his right leg and permanently on crutches.
Now 22 years of age, the forward is now deemed to be the best amputee footballer in the world.
The transition from his journey to where he is today is nothing short of inspiring.
Honouring his current contract at City, the Manchester club decided to offer him the opportunity to become part of the amputee football team via the City in the Community One City disability initiative.
“It was a light at the end of the tunnel for me because I didn’t know what else to do,” he said.
“All I’ve ever thought about was becoming a footballer but I don’t like to dwell on the past because it doesn’t make a difference with what I say or do.”
Looking forward to the future, City’s amputee side travel to Abu Dhabi to take part in the Football Is More tournament.
Eight teams compete worldwide with the Manchester club representing England.
The occasion doesn’t get any bigger for amputee football and Tregaskiss is looking forward to showcasing his talent.
“I desperately want to take the golden boot (top scorers award) and help bring the trophy back home to England,” he said.