Dave Williams explains how the love of football, and a bad rugby injury, led to his career in Physiotheraphy……
“Growing up I was sport mad! I couldn’t get enough of any sport, particularly football. Then suddenly everything was halted when I suffered a back injury playing rugby at school and required treatment. That was my first injury and first contact with a Physio. He helped sort my back with treatment and by prescribing me some strength work – which I did religiously to get back on the pitch. I loved the idea of helping people who are feeling really down and frustrated when they are unable to do things in life they love. It spiralled from there really.
I couldn’t decide between Manchester and Newcastle University but elected to go to the University of Manchester in the end – so that I could still go and watch my beloved football team Tranmere Rovers every weekend! I have no regrets of this decision as it has been my home ever since, after meeting my now wife there!
I got a BSc Hons Physiotherapy degree. My experience initially was in the NHS working across a variety of areas and specialisms including transplantations, intensive care, rehabilitation, outpatients, orthopaedics and neurology. This then led to me becoming a musculoskeletal specialist, working exclusively in outpatients treating both NHS and private patients.
I then pursued a job in football – working in the academy at Manchester City Football Club where I worked with the youth team for over 8 years. The last group of players I worked with included the likes of Jadon Sancho and Phil Foden. I loved helping nurture the talent these boys had, to see them fulfill their hopes and dreams. I elected to leave in 2017 so I could have weekends free with my young family, and work at Harris and Ross. We work with a mixture of different clientele including extreme sports, footballers, rugby players to the everyday office worker. I love the variety I now work with, and take just as much pleasure helping the office worker as I do the elite sports person.
My home life is dominated by my family as I have 4 wonderful (and challenging at times!!) kids. I love getting outdoors with them – playing a mixture of sports and exploring new walks as much as possible. I love running, which helps me clear my mind and feel great. I particularly love running along the canal where I find it the most tranquil and relaxing place particularly in lockdowns!!
Whilst it provided lots of frustrations, I found lockdown a great time to slow life down a little and get off the “hamster wheel”! Our lives are so dominated by time spent commuting and working, then rushing kids to a variety of clubs such as football, ballet, brownies, swimming, gymnastics etc and as they all had to stop, it allowed us to just slow down a little which felt fab! It allowed us to talk more, listen to each other more, play simple games more, and strip life right back to basics which I really liked as did my family. I remember having a socially distanced road party for VE day which every neighbour participated in.
Everyone had time to chat and listen to each other like never before, as nobody had to rush off anywhere! I don’t think we do this enough in life, and hope we can carry some of this forward after the pandemic and have more time for each other.
The worst thing about lockdown was the sheer frustration for my patients who I knew I would be able to help more if I saw them in person, rather than on a zoom call. Besides this, I still fear for the children and the effect this may have on some in years to come both academically but also their mental health. My kids don’t know how lucky they are to have siblings to interact (and squabble!) with, but those who rely on school for a source of social interaction I think will be missing out on a lot which is hard to quantify right now. My other frustrations lie around being unable to see family as we would normally have done, particularly as my youngest has learnt to walk and has transformed during the lockdown.”
Dave Williams believes passionately in pushing patients to maximise their own ability and potential in rehabilitation.
Dave Williams is based at our Wilmslow clinic. For further information or to book an appointment with Dave, please call us 0161 832 9000.