Pride of Birmingham Child of Courage Awards
Charlie Fogarty, a brave teenager who his battling his way back to fitness after being almost killed in an accident, was the Highly Commended runner-up in the Child of Courage category at the Pride of Birmingham awards.
The glittering event at Birmingham Town Hall, organised by the Birmingham Mail in association with Virgin Trains, celebrated the courage, caring and compassion of remarkable people who make a difference.
The awards were hosted by Gaby Roslin and featured Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, singers Laura Mvula, and Ruby Turner and pop legends Roy Wood and Ali Campbell.
Charlie, aged 18, had the world at his feet four years ago. Then aged 15 the Solihull youngster had finished a four-year stint at Birmingham City FC’s Academy and was playing for Milton Keynes Dons.
But after being struck by a car while crossing the road Charlie was in a coma for four months and was left “helpless” when he eventually came round.
His father Mark, aged 52, gave up his job as football coach at Coventry City FC so he could help Charlie when he was sent to a rehabilitation centre in Surrey.
A rigorous rehabilitation programme saw him having to learn how to walk, talk, dress, eat and perform basic tasks again.
Charlie’s courage has seen him resume his studies at St Peter’s Catholic School in Solihull, and his ambitions include playing football for the Great British Paralympic team one day – he now plays football for the West Midlands Centre of Excellence Cerebral Palsy team.
“He’s a different boy but he’s making the most of it,” said Mark.
“He’s an inspiration. He’s gone from being almost dead to being determined that anything is achievable in his mind. We won’t stop him until he gets to where he wants to be.
“He was very skillful. He was also in the international squad for Northern Ireland.”
A St Peter’s Catholic School spokesman said: “Since returning to St Peter’s Sixth Form, Charlie has risen to every challenge put in front of him.
“His determination, courage and personality shine through each day and he is a true inspiration to all staff and students.
“We are delighted as a school to have such an amazing young man and hope that he continues to thrive and fulfil his dream of becoming a football manager.”