TRAVELLING to Mexico City recently for the Homeless World Cup was “the best experience of my life”, says Toxteth’s Becca Mushrow, one of two members of Liverpool Homeless Football Club selected to be part of the England team, the other being Jessica Lomax from Huyton.
A keen footballer since childhood, Becca was encouraged to apply for the first England Women’s Team by her key worker in her hostel. Following a six week training session during the summer, coached by Rachel Brown and Fara Williams, in association with The Homeless FA and Everton in the Community, she was selected to go for a session at the Manchester United grounds, and from there she was picked along with Jess to be part of the eight women squad.
Becca and Jessica travelled to Wembley to join team mates the day before the ten-day trip to Mexico. Over 50 countries took part in the games, and one of the first events was a visit to an Aztec temple. “This gave us an idea of the challenges ahead, because of the altitude,” Becca states.
The opening ceremony in the main square in Mexico City was a magnificent spectacle, with fireworks and stilt walkers playing a central role, she adds. Becca found herself captaining the team for the second game, against the host country. (See main image – Becca wearing the captains armband pictured with team mates Jess and Mauvhr)
Whilst in Mexico the teams from England, Scotland and Wales attended a reception at the British embassy and met the ambassador. At the closing ceremony, “We Are The Champions” was played as medals were presented and fireworks launched. Becca found it a tremendous experience to meet people from all over the world, and adds she has another 150 Facebook friends since her return, “I use Google Translate if they don’t have English”, she points out.
Describing James Buckley, who was also involved in coaching, as “my biggest inspiration”, Becca has also been busy since returning home. Becca has continued to play football and joined two new teams. She has also moved out of temporary accommodation into her own house and has enrolled to start college in September. LHFC have also helped her complete a course with Liverpool Community Radio station and she now hosts her own show!
Looking back at the benefits football has brought to her life, she states “Life was crazy before, but football got me off drugs.”
Listen to Becca talk about Homelessness, Football and her time in Mexico with the Homeless FA: