Ben Barnes in action as a goalkeeper
Skelmersdale United keeper Ben Barnes says soccer gives a launch from the stresses of police work
Dates: 24-26 October Protection: Ilkeston City v Hartlepool United dwell on BBC iPlayer, Crimson Button and BBC Sport web site on Saturday, 24 October (15:00 BST).

Driving again to his police station after giving proof in courtroom, PC Ben Barnes responded to a name which left him in a violent battle with an armed suspect.

A person was shouting loss of life threats to his accomplice and PC Barnes was close to the scene.

Regardless of being alone, and with out his Taser for defense, he arrived on the tackle in Skelmersdale, West Lancashire, the place neighbours instructed him “hurry up, he’ll kill her”.

After banging on the door, he encountered a distressed girl with facial accidents, who pointed upstairs and ran off.

As PC Barnes entered the property, his radio battery died. After climbing the steps he was confronted by a person wielding a 10-inch knife.

Unable to name for back-up, the policeman suffered cuts to his face as he overpowered the suspect earlier than handcuffing him.

“It is the kind of scenario law enforcement officials up and down the nation face daily,” says Barnes, who will swap police uniform for goalkeeping equipment on Saturday when Skelmersdale United look to succeed in the FA Cup first spherical for the primary time since 1971.

When he’s not serving Lancashire Constabulary, Barnes performs in objective for Skelmersdale within the ninth tier of English soccer, and says the sport acts as a launch from the stresses of police work.

“Soccer undoubtedly permits you to offload,” he tells BBC Sport.

‘Skem’s floor appeared like Wembley’

A serving officer for greater than a decade, Barnes is used to coping with trauma, violence, upset and grief.

The incident involving the person with a knife occurred in June 2016 and led to the Excessive Sheriff of Merseyside describing the policeman as “a hero”external-link and “the perfect of the perfect”.

Barnes, 33, attended the Nationwide Police Bravery Awards at Downing Road, a ceremony which honours officers who’ve carried out excellent acts of bravery.

“The decision got here in as I used to be driving again to the station to get my Taser so I might exit on common patrol after attending courtroom,” he explains.

“Normally when you find yourself in a confrontation it is over shortly. This explicit incident went on for 10 minutes. It would not sound lengthy, however while you’re battling a foul man then 10 minutes is a very long time.

“It was good to get some recognition nevertheless it wasn’t something particular.”

Skelmersdale United players celebrate scoring a goal
Skelmersdale United have received 5 video games to succeed in the FA Cup fourth qualifying spherical

Having performed for Merseyside golf equipment Marine and Prescot Cables, Barnes is now the proud captain of his home-town staff Skelmersdale, the place his accomplice, Kate, sponsors his goalkeeping shirt.

“I used to drive previous Skelmersdale’s outdated floor with my dad once I was a child,” he says. “It used to seem like Wembley to me.

“Lancashire Constabulary assist with regards to my soccer. They’re very a lot into the well-being of their workers.

“Over time they’ve moved my shifts to accommodate my soccer.”

When flare-ups have occurred on the pitch, Barnes has been identified to place his policing abilities into follow by performing as peacekeeper.

“It is normally nothing greater than purses on the pitch,” he provides. “It is extra a case of searching for my team-mates and attempting to forestall somebody from being despatched off.”

‘Right down to the final coppers’

Having began on the additional preliminary spherical stage, North West Counties League Premier Division Skelmersdaleexternal-link are the lowest-ranked membership left within the FA Cup.

Nicknamed Skem, they’ve already received 5 video games to earn a closing qualifying-round tie at seventh-tier Stafford Rangers.

Win on Saturday and they’re going to be part of neighbours Wigan Athletic, the 2013 winners, in Monday’s drawexternal-link for the primary spherical.

Three years in the past Skelmersdale, whose former gamers embody two-time Liverpool European Cup winner Steve Heighway,external-link confronted a bleak future after dropping their floor.

They entered right into a groundshare settlement 10 miles away at Prescot Cables however funds shortly dried up as attendances fell off.

“With what we have been paying Prescot, we have been struggling to hold on,” explains Skelmersdale’s vice-chairman Norman Fenney.

“It obtained to the stage the place we have been right down to the previous few coppers. Our chairman Paul Griffiths stored us alive by paying the lease.”

It was a far cry from the membership’s glory days once they performed at Wembley in 1967 and 1971 within the FA Newbie Cup closing, profitable the competitors on their second go to to the nationwide stadium with a 4-1 victory over Dagenham.

Skelmersdale United player John Turner shows off the FA Amateur Cup to crowds who welcomed the team home after their 1971 Wembley triumph
Skelmersdale United participant John Turner reveals off the FA Newbie Cup to crowds who welcomed the staff again dwelling after their 1971 Wembley triumph

Skelmersdale are again within the city on the JMO Sports activities Park, simply off the M58 motorway and 15 miles from Liverpool, the place most of the membership’s gamers are primarily based.

“If we might get into the primary spherical of the FA Cup, that will be good,” provides Fenney.

The NHS employee with a style for targets

4 of Skelmersdale’s 10 targets in FA Cup qualifying have been scored by ahead Emini Adegbenro.

Away from soccer, Adegbenro works in a non-clinical function at Liverpool’s Walton Centre NHS Basis Belief which gives complete neurology, neurosurgery, spinal and ache administration providers.

When his younger daughter Eliza fell sick, he ran a half marathon to lift greater than £1,000 for the town’s Alder Hey Youngsters’s Hospital, the place she had acquired remedy.

Adegbenro, 31, is among the extra skilled gamers in supervisor Paul McNally’s squad.

“We’re telling the youthful gamers to know this chance as a result of they may not get an opportunity to play within the FA Cup first spherical once more,” he says.

Emini Adegbenro in action for Skelmersdale United
Emini Adegbenro in motion for Skelmersdale United

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