I have often been asked why I work for a company that raises funds for junior football teams, instead of doing something else. So I thought I would put my pen to paper and tell the world why I do what I do…
My passion for the game really starts when I was a young lad and I used to play for a football team called Howden Clough. I was originally a goalkeeper but as you will all know if you used to play football at a grassroots level you used to get moved around all the time. I always remember even when it was raining and we were getting beat 4 or 5 nil (we were not very good) it was always good fun and I was always happy because I felt like I was a part of something.
There is one particular moment during a cup match that I will always remember and it had gone to penalties after one hell of a good match. It was their turn to take the penalty and I was the goalkeeper.
I remember that every single match my dad used to always stand at the side of the net cheering me on and during this particular moment he was stood their watching me and the rest of my team were all staring at me hoping that I would save this goal.
I was petrified of letting this goal in and when the lad went to take the shot I just prayed that he would kick it straight over the crossbar, but he didn’t. However he did kick it to the side that I was jumping to and by some miracle I managed to knock the ball out and the rest of my team went crazy. It was one of the best feelings I have ever had; and I believe that is the beauty of junior football.
No matter what is happening in your life, or how old you are, once you walk onto that pitch and the whistle blows it is all about you and your team and everything else gets pushed aside. This is why I do what I do because it gives young people today:
- Team work
But most importantly it gives them a sanctuary away from the pressures and heart ache of everyday life and the knowledge that no matter what is happening in their life. Their team is there for them and that is something that cannot be thrown away due to budget cuts.
So I do the job that I do, to enable kids today to be able to have the experiences that I did growing up and to try and put them on the right path.