Carlisle teenager Thomas Atkinson is celebrating making history with England’s Amputee football team.

The national side won the Nations League after a series of superb performances in Poland.

And 19-year-old Atkinson was among their stars as he was named goalkeeper of the tournament.

It was England’s first major trophy since 1989 and followed victories over Turkey, Poland and Spain.

Atkinson, from Belle Vue, said the achievement was only just sinking in.

“It was surreal,” he said.

“We went into the tournament far from favourites, and our first game was against the current world champions Turkey, who we hadn’t beaten for 20 years and who hadn’t lost a game in any form of football since 2018.

News and Star: Atkinson celebrates one of England's three wins in PolandAtkinson celebrates one of England's three wins in Poland (Image: Jake Kirkman)

“I started that game, and kept a clean sheet – which was the first that had been key against Turkey since 2014 as we won 1-0.

“After that we thought anything was possible.”

Scott Rogers' England went on to defeat hosts Poland 2-1 in front of a partisan home crowd before completing the job with a 1-0 win over Spain.

Atkinson’s impressive performances were rewarded with the tournament’s top keeper prize. “It’s my first individual award on an international scale – to get goalkeeper of the tournament was a special feeling,” he said.

News and Star: Atkinson pictured during the Nations League tournament in PolandAtkinson pictured during the Nations League tournament in Poland (Image: Jake Kirkman)

Atkinson, who at club level plays for Portsmouth in the England Amputee Football Association (EAFA) Premiership and Newcastle United in the EAFA Championship, said he was thrilled to play his part in England’s historic win – and also represent his home city on the big stage.

“It’s our first major trophy since 1989 which is something in itself. It’s incredible, really,” said Atkinson, who was born without his left hand and later had to have his left leg amputated, and wears a prosthetic leg during matches.

“I still live in Carlisle, born and bred, and to represent my city on any stage is incredible.

“My family and friends have always supported me so well, and gave me amazing support in the tournament.”

Atkinson was a childhood star in Cumbria and was referred to the England set-up by the Cumberland FA after being spotted playing in various football camps, including Carlisle United's soccer schools, while he was a Community Sports Trust Football Development student at United.