Championship footballer and father to a child with type 1 diabetes Richard Wood speaks to JDRF

Posted on 12 October 2016

“When I see what my son goes through every day people should know about it.”

Rotherham United football star Richard Wood has spoken to JDRF about why the charity is so close to his heart and of his hope to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes.richard-wood-1-1

The defender has a personal connection to type 1 diabetes – his eight year old son Jenson lives with the condition. Richard is hoping to raise more awareness as an ambassador for JDRF.

He and his teammates at the south Yorkshire club have previously posed in blue JDRF t-shirts before a match with Wolverhampton Wanderers last season.

JDRF spoke to Richard about how he helps Jenson manage his type 1 and the balancing act of doing this and traveling across the country as a professional footballer.

Richard said:

“I go to every match concerned about Jenson’s type 1. In fact, every day I go into training I think and worry about how he will be.

I don’t think that will ever change but, luckily, he has a great mum who I have complete trust in and looks after Jenson really well.”

When asked about the days immediately after Jenson was diagnosed with type 1, Richard said:

“We had no knowledge of type 1 but learned very quickly what type 1 is and that it’s not the be all and end all. We got to grips with it straight away.

“As a footballer with my lifestyle I have an understanding of energy, glucose and carbohydrates so am quite switched on with things like that. I read up on it straight away and what I needed to do to improve my son’s life with type 1.

“I knew in those first few weeks I needed to learn as much as I could and that’s what we all did.”richard-wood-1-2

In August Richard was joined at Rotherham United by Scott Allan, who moved on loan to the club from Glaswegian giants Celtic.

The young midfielder lives with type 1 diabetes and Richard was inspired by how Scott manages his condition.

Speaking of Scott Allan, Richard said: 

“It’s pleasing to see a fellow professional footballer with type 1 be an inspiration to Jenson. Scott has done so well in his football career and it is a credit to him that he has done so while managing the condition.  

“My son aspires to be a footballer and he can look up to Scott and see he is capable and that he can do it.

“Looking at Scott and others like Ben Coker and the rugby boys Henry Slade and Chris Pennell – that’s how it should be, the condition shouldn’t stop you.”

Richard is a JDRF ambassador and hopes to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes and the need to support further research into the condition.

Richard is standing at the back, fourth from the right
Richard is standing at the back, fourth from the right

Of his hopes to raise awareness Richard said:

“Footballers like Scott Allan, Ben Coker and myself are in a position to raise awareness because of the profile of our job. I will do as much as I can to improve public knowledge of the condition.

“When I see what my son goes through every day people should know about it.”

Richard writes a column for the Sheffield Star. To find his articles follow this link.

Hear stories and quotes from more JDRF celebrity supporters

JDRF is grateful to receive support in our mission to cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes and raise awareness of the condition from a number of famous faces. To find out more follow the link below.

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