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

If you are able to donate, please visit my Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/worldcupwilly.
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

Paris 2011

28 August; Author: World Cup Willy

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.

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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.