Last Updated on August 30, 2021 by MyGh.Online
A 6ft 7ins teenage rugby players fears he may never play the sport again because his feet have now grown past the biggest size manufacturers make.
Oliver Stickney, 17, from Pocklington, near York, has serious ambitions of playing the game professionally but he now worries that dream could be derailed because of his huge size 16 feet.
Oliver was a size 15 in a rugby boot – the largest size manufacturers make – but in the last year has moved up to a size 16 because of a growth spurt.
The apprentice PE teacher has told Hull Live that he has attempted to squish his 13ins long feet into his old size 15s, but to no avail.
Now he and his mother have serious concerns that if they can’t find a sponsor to help, then Oliver will have to stop playing the game he loves.
His mum Jo said: “It just isn’t fair as he’d love to be a professional. He’s played for four years now and I am worried that he is going to quit the game due to this problem.
“He’s worried now that rugby is over. He always says, ‘mum even if I don’t become a professional, rugby is my life’.
“He’s always been a big lad and was bullied at school for his size. But on the rugby pitch he never looked out of place – being a giant has normally worked for him.
“We used to joke about the size of his feet but now it is becoming a problem. We knew he would be tall as I am 5ft 9ins and his dad is 6ft 4ins, but we didn’t expect his feet to be so big.”
She continued: “He’s 6ft 7ins now and we imagine he’ll grow more. It’s becoming a big issue because he plays for Pocklington RUFC and he wants to be in the first team.
“He hasn’t played rugby for a while as it all stopped when Covid began. I think when it comes to rugby they just need to cater more.
“Of course he makes comparisons to his friends and thinks, ‘why me’, but companies have said it isn’t the only case they have heard of – other players need bigger sizes too.”
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Oliver said: “It’s weird because I loved the sport it’s just the boots that are getting in the way of me not playing.
“How I managed before was I wore size 15 boots but they were too small.
Oliver and his mum are hoping sponsors will now come forward to help him and other keen rugby players to get the boots they need.
“I hope anyone out there who can help me or sponsors can see my passion for the sport.”