THE joy of representing your country is not a privilege many people get to experience – but Jordan Marsden is one who has earned such an honour.
Jordan, who currently lives in Mirfield, has been selected to represent Scotland Deaf Football.
Jordan celebrates his 32nd birthday tomorrow (Saturday) and was born with damaged nerves in his ears, leaving him with only 18 per cent of his hearing.
He attended Park Road School in Batley which specialised in deaf schooling, and began to learn British Sign Language.
As a child Jordan was a keen sports enthusiast playing everything from rugby to boxing and even martial arts.
Football was always his passion, though, and despite being born and raised in North Kirklees, he has always dreamed of playing for Scotland.
Jordan qualifies through his grandfather and was brought up with his mother supporting Scotland.
The soon to be 32-year-old was invited to trials for both Scotland and England but after attending the Scottish trials the decision of who to play for was an easy one.
“I always wanted to play for Scotland and I always have done since I was a young man,” said Jordan.
“It was an incredibly proud moment when I was called up.
“I can’t wait to wear the Scotland jersey and have an experience on the world stage.”
The Thornhill-born footballer will train with Scotland tomorrow before facing Belgium in a friendly on Saturday, April 28.
Jordan currently plays for Doncaster Deaf Football and will travel to Milan on May 28 to take part in the EU Deaf Champions League.
He has also represented Manchester United Deaf team and set up Huddersfield Town’s Deaf side, but unfortunately the team folded after a year.
And while Jordan is not a Manchester United supporter, he says it was a great honour to represent one of England’s largest football clubs.
“When I joined Manchester United Deaf at the famous Cliff training ground, I am not a United fan but I felt honoured to play for them,” said Jordan.
“I learned a lot there when it came to tactics and skills, and I had a great experience with them.
“I was able to watch professional players, due to us all training on the same field, and it was one of the years that they won the Premier League so I was able to watch how they trained.
“One day I felt I poke on my rib and I turned round and it was Sir Alex Ferguson.
“I was gobsmacked because he retired the week after, we even had Ryan Giggs come to training with us once.
“My idol is Paul Scholes, but I could never find him, he must be quite good at hide and seek.
“One day I found him on the field by himself aiming the ball at the crossbar and he didn’t miss once.”
The 31-year-old also took up boxing when the Huddersfield Deaf team folded, even though he was told he wasn’t able to fight because of his condition.
However, after impressing Left Jab Promotions at a charity event they agreed to train him.
He went on to earn a record of six wins, one draw and three losses over the space of two years and won the semi-professional Yorkshire Middleweight title.
And Jordan says that others who may have a disability should not let what others think hold them back.
He said: “I proved to the people who said I couldn’t box that they were wrong, they don’t know what I can or can’t do.
“After I won the Yorkshire title it was to show to others who are deaf or have a disability that they can do great things too, I hope I can encourage and inspire them.”
Jordan originally hails from Thornhill Lees but despite his success on the pitch still needs sponsorship in order to play for the Scotland team.
His ex-brother-in-law Stuart Hindle says that Jordan is an inspiration and that any funding help would be hugely appreciated.
He said: “All his travel and training fees are currently funded by himself and us as a family when we can afford to help.
“He is driven about by his sister, Suzanne Marsden, who’s his biggest fan.”
Anyone who wishes to donate to Jordan’s travel costs can do so by visiting www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ScotlandDeafFootballInternationalTeamBELGIUM.
Or alternatively, contact Stuart on 07486 591543 for further information on potential sponsorship.