Liverpool Homeless Football Club reached the final of a national five a side competition held in Manchester this week. The tournament was called Street2Feet and was organised by homelessness charity Chapter 1.
The team was led by Gary Thomas and John Finnegan as they pitted their wits against 31 other teams who had come from across the country. After a successful morning, LHFC had topped their group and progressed through to the knock out stage. The afternoon was filled with drama and no one could hide their delight more than John Finnegan as he watched the lads reach the final. Unfortunately, luck was not on their side as they lost 3-0. But the trophy for second is quite impressive, i’m sure you’ll agree.
More to the point, the event was a huge success with all participants fully engaging in the spirit of the tournament. The tournament, had been selected by the Homeless FA to celebrate UEFA’s Grassroots Day 2012.
Head of the Homeless FA, Gareth Parker, said: “We have chosen to showcase this particular project as it is a great example of grassroots homeless football.” and he was full of praise for The Limes which is a supported housing project run by Chapter 1 in Manchester for 26 single men aged 16 to 30.
Mr Parker added: “Chapter 1 The Limes really stands out for the way in which they’ve developed the potential of football in such a positive way.” Chapter 1’s very own Dean Ashton, who organised the event, said: “Chapter 1 The Limes’ aim is to put on a great sporting event, raise awareness of homelessness, and demonstrate the positive impact of sport.
“This is our second national tournament and our fifth annual tournament. We hope it will become an annual event, and maybe even a launch pad for creating an inter-hostel sports academy.”
The tournament was officiated by FA qualified referees and played on high-quality Astroturf pitches. As well as the overall winner’s trophy there were prizes for runners-up and an award for the player of the tournament. Also the captain of the team who best demonstrated proper conduct within the spirit of the game was awarded a special fair play award.
Pauline Gaye, manager of Chapter 1 The Limes, said: “We offer residents sports leadership training, official coaching qualifications and volunteering opportunities. “The benefits are wider reaching. Sport increases self-esteem and team work, encourages a healthy life-style and improves employability. It can change young lives for the better, forever.”