THE University of Worcester won a major international blind football tournament in the Czech Republic.

The team defeated some of Europe’s finest sides on their way to victory in the fourth Bucovice Blind Football Cup.

The competition, held by Masaryk University in the south of Moravia, is considered to be the best international club competition in the sport.

Although the university side have competed in all three previous tournaments, their players had only ever managed bronze medals.

The team consisted of head coach and senior lecturer in sports coaching science David Mycock, graduate Keryn Seal, staff member Will Norman and masters student Conor McAteer, who was acting as the guide.

England players Robin Williams, Dan James, Roy Turnham and Jon Heenan were also involved along with Darren Harris.

Their competitors included sides from the host nation, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Greece and Poland.

In the group stages, Worcester defeated Anderlecht 1-0, ASD Liguria from Italy 2-1 and St Pauli FC from Germany 2-0.

The following day, they beat Pirsos Thessaloniki from Greece 2-0 in the semis before going on to win the final 2-0 against pre-tournament favourites and German Bundesliga champions Marburg.

The core game of blind football remains similar to the standard game but is played on a smaller pitch.

There are five team players — four blind and one sighted goalkeeper.

Ball bearings are placed in the ball to allow players to locate it by sound.

The university side, FA National Futsal League Champions in four out of six years, have developed the game alongside the English FA and Hereford's Royal National College for the Blind.

Mycock said: “Some of the players and coaches from Worcester have become the first full-time FA professional team in disability football and this win is a landmark occasion for them and the sport in the United Kingdom as a whole.

“This was an amazing trip, which epitomises everything that is good about the people who are connected to the university.

“The university have been quietly leading the way not only in developing players, analysts and coaches in disability sports but in helping other people reach their potential.”

Seal said: “The strength and depth in European blind football is pretty awesome, not only at international level but at club level too.

“Many of the clubs here could give most international teams a good game.

“Although many of the players in the Worcester team are now full England internationals, the university is where it all started for us and so it’s great to be able to take the club we love overseas and enjoy this kind of success.”