WHO ARE YA? Simon Lansley, Head of Marketing & Communications for Street League


Simon Lansley, Head of Marketing & Communications for Street League

1) Who are ya?

Simon Lansley, 41.

2) Who do you support?

Wolverhampton Wanderers, without question the world’s greatest football club!

3) What was your first game?

Derek Dougan’s testimonial, about 1977 I think. In the old Waterloo Road Stand.

4) What do you do for a job?

Head of Marketing & Communications for the brilliant national charity @Street_League, which uses football to tackle youth unemployment. I’m also founder of @ConnectSport, which seeks to raise awareness of projects which use sport for social development. I previously worked in journalism for 15 years, including as Sports Editor / Editorial Director at The Press Association.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

Yes. Manager for Hamilton Panthers Under-6s!!

6) How did you get into it?

Coached my lad’s team for five years.

7) What do you get out of it?

Perspective. Before a certain age, kids are quite happy to just have fun and try to win a match; it’s adults who are obsessed by league tables. Saw too many dads reliving their football careers through their kids, desperate to win the league whatever the cost. I like winning matches more than most – but not at the cost of kids developing and learning not to panic on the ball.

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

Put the kids first. Make sure they’re always having fun, they’re much more likely to want to learn. I took a lot of pleasure from watching a supposedly ‘weaker’ player grow in confidence through encouragement and guaranteed gametime to become top scorer. Just seeing him and his dad’s pride when he scored was worth all the effort.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

Better facilities, better English weather, more support for the embattled club stalwarts, but most of all more patience and positivity from the vocal minority on the sidelines.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

Stephen George Bull MBE.

Many thanks, Simon.

Follow Street League on Twitter – @Street_League

Get involved – www.streetleague.co.uk/get-involved

WHO ARE YA? Vicki Galt, DeaFFF NW


1) Who are ya?

Vicki Galt, 42, Lancaster

2) Who do you support?

Long term – Nottingham Forest – I was born next to the ground! [I used to live a five-minute walk away from it – GM]

Now – Morecambe FC (as I hire the pitch there for our deaf Football Club), and Man Utd as my sons are big fans!

3) What was your first game?

Nottingham Forest v – I can’t remember!

It was in 1986/87 and I went along with the St John’s ambulance. I just remember hoping someone needed first aid on their knees!

4) What do you do for a job?

I used to be a nurse in intensive care but then I had three kids – two of which are deaf.

I’ve set up and run various deaf and special needs groups. I have recently set up one in Lancaster, but I’ve now moved on to voluntarily creating deaf sports groups (especially football) throughout the North West for deaf kids to play competitively alongside their peers – DeaFFF NW.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

No, apart from the deaf sports clubs.

6) How did you get into it?

My eldest came home from grassroots football and said that after a year they still weren’t including him and he still didn’t really know anyone there, despite the club receiving deaf awareness training and support being given! So, I subsequently set up football training for deaf kids in Lancaster and Morecambe.

7) What do you get out of it?

I get the satisfaction of seeing my boys play with their deaf mates in sports that they want to participate in, plus the rewards from organising events, fundraising and socialising with other deaf families in the area and around the region.

I just wish that the FA would recognise that the deaf want to play deaf football not pan disability football as they don’t have a physical disability themselves!

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

Don’t just start a group yourself without speaking to someone that knows the kids and their needs first – don’t get into it without the involvement of others as the kids won’t come!

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

After the fight for funding, first with the training and now with DeaFFF NW, I would have secured the funding first in hindsight, but then I may not have got any and the groups wouldn’t exist!

I’ve only just secured funding as the first year of DeaFFF NW was a trial to see what numbers would attend – upwards of 50 a session at times! Now, I have some sponsorship for venues and BSL interpreters.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

I would love to meet Karen Brady – she worked in football proving that women could make it in the profession. If I could develop DeaFFF NW the way she developed her club I would be really pleased.

David Beckham has used his name for fundraising and I would love some advice from him too!

Playerwise, it would have to be Peter Shilton; or an unknown to you all but well known to me – Adam Thomas! He is deaf and played for us at Morecambe Deaf FC when he moved up here from Plymouth. He has since gone on to Deaf Man Utd and England Deaf Futsal where he was picked for the Euro qualifiers in Oslo.

That shows that deaf kids can become football stars, and he came from our grassroots deaf squad!

Many thanks, Vicki. All the best with your initiatives.

See www.ndcs.org.uk for more information.

WHO ARE YA? Aaron W Evans


Prestatyn Town FC

1) Who are ya?

I am Aaron W Evans, I am 26 years of age. I have Cerebral Palsy affecting the left side of my body. I also have a chronic bowel condition that affects me day-to-day.

2) Who do you support?

I am an Everton supporter, and really enjoy local football too. My local team is Prestatyn Town FC.

3) What was your first game?

I seem to recall David Eyres and Lee Trundle in a Rhyl shirt, and for Everton sometime in 94/95.

4) What do you do for a job?

I am a 5×60 officer in Prestatyn High school, I provide sporting opportunities during lunch time and after school.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

I played for Llandudno, Mochdre disability teams and Everton Disability Team.

I played for Wales at Tri Nation level and also played for Cerebral Palsy team GB at Youth Level.

I have coached in Italy voluntarily, with Viability, who work with Torino FC, and also coach at Prestatyn Town FC from the Welsh Premier League.

6) How did you get into it?

My dad was instrumental in contacting Everton in seeing if they had any disabled teams. It all escalated from a simple phone call.

7) What do you get out of it?

Confidence, friends, an understanding of the game… A lad with cerebral palsy, by rights, should not be doing what I do. I feel blessed.

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

You can achieve anything.

Go out and volunteer, get used to the football language, the football scenery, earn people’s respect.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

I wish I had been able to go to Latvia with Prestatyn Town in the Europa League Qualifiers, but I owe the manager, the staff and players a lot. I will always be in their debt.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

Everton’s Dave Watson for his stature in the game, and ex-Welsh International, Lady Kelly Davies*. We are close family friends, but I used to sit and watch her train and play, deep in admiration. I looked at her work rate as a benchmark for myself.


Kelly Davies, Managing Director of Vi-Ability

Many thanks Aaron. All the best.

*Kelly Davies is the Managing Director of Vi-Ability and is an ex-international football player. She has 36 caps for Wales and has also played for Arsenal and Liverpool Ladies. She is the youngest woman to obtain an MBA in the football industries. During her studies, the idea came to her for a social business that could tackle the issues of commercially unsustainable football clubs and youth disengagement in education.

Mark Halsey believes pressure on top-flight officials could lead to suicide


From FAD FC:

“Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey believes the pressure on top-flight officials could lead to one of them committing suicide. “I also believe that if we do not do something to help referees with mental health and stress issues, then we could see a suicide.”

Halsey has published a book,  authored by writer and journalist Ian Ridley, entitled Added Time: Surviving Cancer, Death Threats and the Premier League.

Halsey was the longest-serving full-time professional referee in the English game when he retired at the end of the 2012/13 season. His career saw three seasons officiating in the Football League and a remarkable 14 in the Premier League.

Halsey is now a refereeing pundit for BT Sport.

Read more at http://worldsoccertalk.com/podcasts/2013/interview-with-former-referee-mark-halsey-exposes-inefficiencies-in-premier-league-where-refs-work-under-the-fear-factor-86710/#9Jr30ZUZADHcFvCY.99

If you have or being affected by Mental Health issues, please contact FAD FC.


ImageHow would you like to Live the Dream of running out alongside a Club Legend and taking part in a 90 minute match on your team’s hallowed turf?

Since forming in 2001, Football Aid have allowed over 14,000 football fans the chance to Live the Dream in more than 535 charity football matches all over the UK, and over £2M has been paid out or designated as payable to charities in the 13 years since.

The unique concept was the brainchild of businessman and Football Aid Chairman, Craig Paterson.

Funds raised from our events always benefit the work of a charitable project nominated by our partner clubs, as well as projects nominated by Football Aid’s parent charity Field of Dreams.

Football Aid – Player Stories 2001 – 2013

Arsenal: Roy Talbot, the 68 year old former Sunday League player from Welwyn Garden City who hung up his boots for the last time, making his final appearance between the sticks at The Emirates for Arsenal in 2011. Roy was lucky enough to have his grandson as mascot as well.

Blackburn Rovers: Eric Lamb, a Melbourne, Australia based fireman makes the 10,500 miles pilgrimage to play for his hometown club Blackburn Rovers most years. He even scored with a stunning 30 yard strike that flew into the top corner & made our Goal of the Season 2011 shortlist.

Play at Ewood Park

Bolton Wanderers: Maurice Lawson continues to trot out at The Reebok most years; he’s our eldest player at the tender age of 70 years young!

comp pictureBolton Wanderers: Howard Fox flew all the way from Australia to play in goal at Bolton Wanderers in 2009 – he was rewarded for his efforts with the Man of the Match award!

Celtic: David and Paul Walker Lived the Dream in unique style at Celtic Park in 2007, playing with their other Brother, former pro Andy, who starred as a Striker for Celtic, Bolton & Scotland!

ImageEverton: Father and Son Dave and Mike O’Reilly, originally from Liverpool, who have flown over from Orange County, California to play together at Goodison Park 3 years running from 2010-2012. This year their impressive Away team won 8-3!

Liverpool: Nick Carter, a Liverpool fan from Carmarthen, Wales returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan only days before the 2011 game to play alongside his boyhood hero John Barnes at Anfield.

Liverpool: Liverpool fan Paul Hewson played in a match at Anfield in 2013 and recounted his experience after the event:

“You’ve all seen it on telly, maybe lucky enough to see it from the stands but until you have experienced walking down the famous tunnel, touching the “This is Anfield” sign and walking out onto the pitch as a player, only then will you ever come close to the feeling the players get when they play their first game on Anfield [turf].”

Manchester City: Diego Ponzé, a Milan, Italy based Sky Sport 24 journalist, flew over with his own cameraman to film a video diary of his experience in 2011. The 8 min video diary was shown on Italian TV and featured an impromptu interview with former City legend and Football Aid Patron Denis Law!

ManUtdTunnelManchester United: A group of 9 x Italian players celebrated their Stag Party or “Addio Al Celibato” in style by playing together for Manchester United at Old Trafford in 2012.

Tottenham Hotspur: Three London born brothers, Chris, Paul and Matthew Shelley who all played together at White Hart Lane for the 2nd time in 2011 and had the privilege of being managed by Spurs great Ossie Ardiles as well!

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Mark Everiss played 11 consecutive years at Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Molineux Stadium from 2001 – 2011.

Football Aid 2014

Football Aid is back for another season, and you can experience a matchday in the same way as your heroes do every week, in a way that even a club tour can’t match, plus do your bit for charity.

Players gain exclusive access to the pitch and tunnel areas, pull on their own personalised shirt in the official changing rooms, walk down the tunnel to the sound of a cheering crowd and step out onto the hallowed turf, before taking part in a never to be forgotten 90 minute game of football!

82editMatches have been supported by a host of fantastic Football Legends in recent years, with the likes of Denis Law (Football Aid Patron), Danny McGrain (Football Aid Vice Patron), John Barnes, Peter Beardsley, Pat Nevin, Neil Lennon, Ally McCoist, Graeme Le Saux, Ricky Villa, Gary McAllister, Denis Irwin, Ozzie Ardiles, Gary Mabbutt, Teddy Sheringham and many more lending their extra special support by playing alongside or managing the fan teams on their big day.

To secure your place in a 2014 team, visit www.footballaid.com and register.

You can also follow Football Aid on Twitter – @FootballAid

And on Facebook – www.facebook.com/footballaid

Other Links: