Tavistock Specials Football Club is to be renamed Tavistock Titans in a decision reached jointly by the committee and the players. The club, formed to give juniors and adults with mental or physical disabilities the chance to play football, decided on the name change to bring it up to date and to attract a younger group of players to join, writes Sarah Martin.

Tavistock coach Adrian Walker who took over the running of the club in 2022 said: “The choice of name was a toss up between the Tavistock Tigers and the Tavistock Titans. We felt Titans much better reflected where we are as a club and how we want to modernise it. Some of our players have also been subjected to bullying in the past with people misunderstanding the Specials name. We know some supporters may be upset with the change but the player’s safety is paramount.”

The club which was founded in 2008 by Tavistock Town Councillor Allen Lewis, has given scores of adults and children, male and female, the chance to play competitive football at a grass roots level. It currently has 36 registered players ranging between eight to 53 years of age and is hoping to attract more young players to the club to safeguard its future, as well as expand their offering to include walking football and increase the number of women playing.

The Titans play in the Devon Ability Counts League which is the biggest disability league in the country and covers all levels of ability. They are currently fourth in the Devon Ability Counts League Premiership Two, but Adrian says that’s really not what’s important to them: “We want the players to come along and enjoy what they are doing. We don’t care where we are in the league, as long as they have a good time.”

Decisions around the new strip and logo are still outstanding but again, the committee are asking for team involvement: “Once we have all the suggestions in, we will be holding a presentation evening to showcase the ideas and then make a decision on how the new logo, strip and training kit will look.” Adrian continued: “We currently have sponsors who have been supporting the club but are hoping to attract a local graphic design business who would be interested in helping us with the logo and design work.”

The team currently plays league tournaments in Newton Abbot but Adrian is looking to arrange a series of open days at the 3G pitch at Tavistock College where they train. Anyone interested in taking part, joining the club or offering help with the design of the new strip can contact Adrian on 07488 395198 or via email at [email protected]