BMI The London Independent Hospital’s Sports and Exercise Physician Dr Zaf Iqbal has been honoured at the inaugural Asian Football Awards. Dr Iqbal won for his work as Liverpool Football Club's first team doctor and was up against nominees from QPR, Wolves, Wigan and Birmingham in the 'Football behind the scenes award - Medical' category. The awards which were held at a gala ceremony in Wembley Stadium, aim to recognise the outstanding contribution individuals, with a South Asian heritage, make to both the professional game and grassroots football initiatives.
Dr Iqbal’s career began after qualifying as a doctor in London in 1999. He went on to complete an MSc in Sports and Exercise Medicine at Queen Mary, University of London six years later before his first break in football came at Leyton Orient. He went on to be appointed to work with England's youth teams before he attracted the attention of the Tottenham Hotspur. He began working with Spurs' Academy before earning a promotion as the first-team doctor in 2008 before swapping White Hart Lane for Anfield in the summer of 2010. Dr Iqbal has also held the position of Chairman of the FA Medical Society since 2006.
Dr Iqbal was presented with his award at Wembley Stadium. After the ceremony he commented, “It was a fantastic, well organised evening and with it being at the home of football it was much bigger than I expected. I didn't go into this profession to try and win any awards. The way that I work is to do the job to the best of my ability and try and provide the best care possible to the players. Just being nominated is great but to get the award for something I love doing was very pleasing and hopefully this type of recognition will inspire others too. I hope that I can continue to be part of a successful Liverpool team for many years to come,” Dr Iqbal concluded.
Dr Iqbal is part of London SportsCare team at BMI The London Independent Hospital. Dr Iqbal said, “I am proud to be part of this dynamic group and am very grateful to its members for all the help they have given throughout my training as well as with my career.” The team was founded 20 years ago and is comprised of sports medicine doctors, orthopaedic surgeons, podiatrist and podiatric surgeon, radiologists, rheumatologist and cardiologists who are well-known nationally and internationally in the field of Sports and Exercise Medicine. The team was founded by John King, Nat Padhiar, David Perry and Tom Crisp who remain a vital backbone of today’s service. The team offer a dedicated Sports and Exercise medicine clinic that specialises in the management of injuries related to sport and musculoskeletal problems. The clinic also provides guidance and treatment in problems associated with sports, exercise and physical activity. The specialists, such as Dr Iqbal, all have close association with elite professional sports clubs including Premiership football clubs, Olympic teams and professional dancers.
Speaking on Dr Iqbal’s award, Kirsty Baker The London Independent Hospital’s Executive Director commented, “We are absolutely thrilled that Zaf has been honoured for his work in the field of sports medicine. The Asian Football Awards aim to inspire and engage with the young Asian community and we hope that Zaf can be a role model for everyone in our local community. His work at The London Independent Hospital’s London SportsCare clinic helps athletes of all abilities reach their goals and in this Olympic year we hope that this award will inspire more young people to take up a career in the field of Sports and Exercise Medicine.”