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Homeless World Cup

Intrigued to find out more? Click here for the official Homeless World Cup website.

5 a side Competition

Fundraising 5 a side competition was held on 12 August and raised over £650. A full report on the evening's activities is online now. Click here to read it. Photos are also available to view - Click here to see them.

Just Giving

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Every pound you give will go towards changing people's lives and will be greatly appreciated. Thank you :)

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Quick Note

Just a quick note to prevent any confusion: I'm not associated with, nor am I trying to pass myself off as, World Cup Willie, the 1966 World Cup Mascot. He's much more popular and handsome than I could ever be. If you want to find out more about him click here

Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category

So, finally, I made it. After delays at work this week, and with my wedding just a week away (yes, I was allowed out!), I got to Paris on Friday, just for the day, to drop in on old friends from Rio and see what new developments there were this year. Unfortunately after just a few photos my camera gave up (shutter seems to be jammed), so I’ve had to borrow pictures from elsewhere on the net (I’d like to credit the photographers, but I haven’t a clue who actually took them!).

This year’s event was at a fantastic venue in the gardens around the Eiffel Tower – take a look at the pics below to see how close the pitches were to the tower. The tournament has expanded again this year so they’ve had to build an extra pitch – that’s 3 in total, so 392 games can be played in just 1 week.

Every game has been online this year too, so you can even watch it from the comfort of your desk/office/armchair* (*delete as appropriate).

The odd character from Rio turned up too, most notably Arezki, from France. He was a player last year having recently been homeless, but he now finds himself running the French team from its inception this year, through training and tournament preparation, to the real event … in his home country. Great story from a top guy!

Global ambassadors continue to grow too, this year with Emmanuel Petit taking up the position of chief ambassador for this year’s event. Although such a star (World Cup winner!) he was happy to pose for as many photos and sign as many autographs as people wanted – a true gentleman – and even I was lucky enough to get to meet him momentarily. And … Arsene Wenger is the President of the organising committee!

Closer to home, the England team set up will develop a new future soon under the guidance of Gareth Parker, who is heading up the England Homeless FA. The aim is to build a stronger network around England with the foundations already put in place by various organisations running street soccer projects and ultimately give greater opportunity for people to change their lives through football. He’s even whispered to me that next year they’re hoping to enter the first England women’s team!

Not quite as close to home, but just over the border … I ought to mention that the Scottish men won the big trophy and Kenya won the women’s trophy. Well done to them and well done all.

I must say there were great scenes around the park too, as players from all around the world embraced, physically and emotionally. I know I do bang on about it, but football really does have a great strength to bring people together and build them up. I saw lots of it last year in Rio (it was quite brilliant!) and this year there seems to be a whole lot more.

Long live The Homeless World Cup.

I’ve been a busy boy today, running around outside Wembley Stadium taking snaps of the Kinetic 5s fundraising event. Funds generated from this event go into the bursary fund to assist some nations in getting their team to the 2011 Homeless World Cup in Paris. It’s not often I get to spend a whole day with my camera, so I really enjoyed my time behind the lens. I’m still very much an amateur, but here’s a little selection for you to view.

By the way, today’s event will have raised a few thousand pounds!


30 April; Author: World Cup Willy

Finally … after many months … I have uploaded the best 100 photos from the 2010 Homeless World Cup in Rio de Janeiro. Click here to see them.

It has begun … the flagship event for The Homeless World Cup Foundsation is now underway, having started on Sunday with a thrilling 7-6 win by Brazil over fellow South Americans, Chile.

On Copacabana Beach is a stadium with two street soccer pitches built on top of the sand. Inside the stadium are hundreds of players, all full of nerves and excitement, wanting to change their lives through and wanting to do so through football. I´ve spoken to many people here, coaches, players, charity workers, all thrilled by the opportunity to be here and grateful to their sponsors for supporting them on their journey here.

My job since the start of this fabulous event has been to work in the Media & Communications team, getting the tournament news out to the world through the website. I´ve fallen on my feet a bit, as the team needed someone to take photos for the news and match reports and I had brought my DSLR camera with me. I´ve never taken so many photos in such a short space of time … and the subject is one of my favourites, too!

Walking round with my camera, I´ve caught people´s attention and been able to talk to them. It seems the combination of football and a camera will bridge any language issues. Genuinely, there is so much excitement among the players, even if they´ve suffered a 15-0 loss (and there have been a couple of those!) and it´s great to be a part of that. Teams have travelled here from the opposite side of the world, they´ve left war-torn countries, they´ve escaped tragedy hit countries and communities and now have the chance to take their lives forward through their passion for football. I really am pleased to be part of this event.

I´m probably waffling a bit, but my mind has jumped back to yesterday when South Korea took a 9-2 battering by the inform Costa Rica. The Koreans are short on players and their goalkeeper is a guy recovering from alcoholism, who is old enough to be my dad. He stands in his goal, thick-framed glasses on, gloves and shirt a bit too big for him, but full of enthusiasm for the next 14 minutes of this adventure in Brazil. The goals fly past him, as his does his best to parry the ball to safety and he just keeps getting up for more. From the stands, the crowd are chanting “KO-RE-AH, KO-RE-AH”, givig everything they can to encourage the underdogs and this continues to the end of the match when the Koreans leave the pitch. At this point, Hary, a ref from Australia (he is such a top guy – love him to bits already, after meeting him just 3 days ago) beckons the Koreans back to the pitch to face the crowd … who are still chanting KO-RE-AH. Any sign of disappointment in the Koreans´faces simply disappears as they watch, listen and bow to the cheering masses. The guys are thrilled, elated by this experience, really feeling something so special from it. This is what it´s all about – football breaking down barriers and creating passion and excitement among the players, regardless of who they are.

For those back home who are interested, the England team are doing fine. They have won two matches and lost one, scoring 20 goals in the process.

Done! Complete! Finished! And £650 raised!

Really pleased … and relieved to have got the event out of the way. In the days leading up to it, I got anxious and was really concerned that I’d forgotten something. And at 5pm, just an hour before the start, the heavens opened and cats, dogs, zebras and giraffes fell from the sky … but it cleared up by 6pm. The money raised on the night puts me much closer to my fundraising target and frees up a bit of brain space, too. Phew!

I’ve written a full report on the event, with pics too, (click here to view it), but, in short, we had 8 teams battle it out through group matches, semi-final and final to win the trophy. 40 goals later, plus a sudden death penalty shoot out, De Lage Lads, from De Lage Landen Leasing Ltd, walked away with the trophy, and their goalkeeper, held high.

Hundreds of raffle tickets were sold too, contributing towards the total raised, and a sincere thanks must go to all the companies who donated items to the raffle. There were some fab ones!

Interesting times; I have broken things that need fixing. I’ve recently received my brand spanking new bike and already managed to break it and I’ve had to take a trip to the physio to get my knee checked out.

I’ve tried to look after my new bike and I pumped up the tyres last week before taking it out for its first proper ride and managed to break the inner tube where it joins the valve. Never used one of these Presta valves before and it seems they’re a whole lot more delicate than the old style Schrader valves that I am used to. I’ve got a lot of learning to do after 10 years out of the saddle with only 5 weeks until the big ride!

Recently been feeling some discomfort in my right knee, too, which shows it’s ugly face about 2 miles into a run. I’ve been expecting it to just disappear since the Watford 10k in May, it hasn’t disappeared yet, and with less than 9 weeks until the Ipswich Half Marathon, I thought I should get some expert advice. The area below my knee has been strapped up to try and pull some bits back into line and I’ve got to take it out for a test run to see if it works any better than before. Just waiting for the temperature to drop today …

Strapped up knee

Split inner tube

I’ve just added some pics to the photos page, including some from my publicity shoot and some from my travels with England. Stop by and take a look.

Hi-res images are also available for media usage, made available without charge by Patricia at Image2 Photography. Please contact me if you would like to view these.

I’ve just arranged a photo shoot for this Monday (weather pending) so I’ve got some photos of me looking good so I can use them for this website and press releases. All being well, you’ll see the photos in the next week or so :)

My sincere thanks to Patricia at Image 2 Photography in Rickmansworth. She’s does some great stuff … go check out her website.

What is this all about?

This is all about creating new futures for people ... through football. It's simple! And more than 500 people from across the world will have the opportunity by taking part in the 2010 Homeless World Cup. The event raises awareness of homelessness globally and drives people to change their lives with new health, jobs, homes, families and more. If you'd like to sponsor me, please click here.

Who am I?

I'm Wil, a football fan ... and now a volunteer at the 2010 Homeless World Cup. I've taken on the challenge of volunteering for the 2010 Homeless World Cup to combine my passion for football with a desire to help others. I'll be getting my hands dirty at the event, helping in a whole range of ways (lugging around equipment, directing teams, talking to the press, compiling results, writing blogs and more). It's a fantastic opportunity to get involved and to make a difference to so many other people's lives.