Pulling The Flag

Chorley cadets retire Andrew Carr’s #20

It’s not often you get your team jersey retired when you’re only 12.

But Andrew Carr’s career started a little earlier than most – at the age of FIVE.

A few years before he became a defensive terror for the Buccaneers, Andrew turned up at practice looking for a game in 2007.

“They told me I couldn’t play in competitive games until I was seven because of insurance and league rules”, he said.

Not to be deterred, he pressed on with training and helped out in tournaments in any way he could. He made his debut just hours into his seventh birthday.

“I couldn’t wait to get out there,” said Andrew. “It was even more exciting being my birthday.”

photo 2 - Andrew in red

The early dedication paid off. He was named Rookie of the Year in his first season, and scooped Defensive MVP in 2010, 11, 12, and 13. He was a league all-star on more than one occasion, and in 2014, he was the Coach’s Player of the Year.

“His dedication serves as a lesson to anyone”, said his first coach Lee Taylor. “He approaches every drill, play, session or game with absolute concentration and a yearning to improve. I’m lucky to have coached him, and there is no doubt he has been an inspiration to me.”

He’s no stranger to awards. But last year, he won something even more valuable.

After coming agonisingly close on four separate occasions, he captained the Bucs to a Britbowl title, beating the Coventry Cougars 33-13 in Doncaster to wrapping up his cadet career in the best possible way.

Although the team fell behind by two scores early on, Andrew helped the defense to close down the Cougar threat as the day wore on, and took a pass of his own to the house late on to seal the victory.

chor20td

He said: “We knew Coventry were good, but we had ability to beat them. We used the frustration of being two scores down and turned it into positive energy. To finally hold that winners trophy was the best feeling ever!”

Over the last seven years, he has made sure that #20 is a shirt number that attracts attention on the field. Just as it did for his idol.

“I chose 20 because that’s the number Ronde Barber of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wore,” said Andrew.

“I like him because he was a really important part of the Tampa defence, especially when he scored the 92 yard touchdown in the SuperBowl – the year I was born.”

Andrew comes from an American Football family. His dad Darren played uniball at the Leeds Celtics in the late 90s before playing and coaching at the Lancashire Wolverines. When he took on the role of head coach of the Lancaster Bombers uni team, Andrew was often seen helping out and giving tips at training sessions.

“He shows a level of maturity way beyond his years, I often forget how young he actually is”, Darren said.

“To put it in perspective Andrew hasn’t even been alive for as many years I played the sport. Already though, he has achieved so much more than I ever did as a player. As a father and a coach I’m incredibly proud of him.”

Photo 3 - Andrew centre with coach taylor

Andrew will continue to wear #20 as he moves up to the Youth team. He studies at the Academy@Worden in Leyland, Lancashire, but aspires to a place at a college in the US, where crowds in the tens of thousands are not out of the ordinary.

Head coach Keith Schofield said: “No cadet will wear 20 again – there could never be another 20.

“Andrew will be able to carry on wearing his number throughout the other age groups in the club, but for the cadets he was the one and only.”

Chorley Buccaneers cater for players between 7-19, and also have opportunities for coaches and backroom staff. Contact info@chorleybuccaneers.com for more details.

photo 4 - Andrew after winning national championship

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