Last Sunday, Auckland Powerchair Football Club Inc. reported that New Zealand powerchair football player Tony Flutey had died.
Flutey was a member of Canterbury Powerchair Football that is affiliated with ParaFed Canterbury. He was selected as part of the 2013 New Zealand national team that competed at the Australian Powerchair Football Association Nationals. That year, he was one of three nominees for the ParaFed Canterbury ParaFed Powerchair Football Club Award alongside teammates Melissa Counihan and Luke Alderton.
Flutey was a tetraplegic as a result of an accident that broke his neck when was 26-years-old and working as a painter on scaffolding at Christchurch Hospital. Outside of football, he was a painter who used his mouth to move his brush, and a member of the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists. In 2010, he had his work shown as part of a traveling exhibition. That year, he also had a scholarship from the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists that enabled him to seriously pursue his art.
Auckland Powerchair Football Club Inc. said of his passing, “those of you who were at the Training camp we had in 2013 will remember Tony he was a nice guy always joking around and a good player as well, our condolence’s go out to Tony,s family and of course to the Canterbury Powerchair Football Club who have lost a great player and team mate.”