Places to live are goal for Liverpool Homeless FC

Good News Liverpool
LHFC Chair John Finnigan
LIVERPOOL Homeless Football Club has been nominated for a prestigious National Diversity Award. The club is in the running in the Community Organisations Multi- Strand category in the awards which take place in a glittering ceremony at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral in September.

John Finnigan Chair of LHFC said ” We are totally honoured to have even been nominated, never mind shortlisted, We read some of the comments people and agencies made about us on the website and they totally blew us away. This is an achievement not just for the present players, committee, partners and sponsors, but all the people over the past eight years, who have been involved in the club. ” 

LHFC is about to enter its ninth season and has helped hundreds of homeless adults through football. The club is based in the LCVS Building on Dale Street and includes facilities for job search and also a counselling room. All of the staff are volunteers but coaches are paid.

LHFC is open to any homeless person over 18 and that includes people in hostels, temporary accommodation and sofa-surfers.

One of the club's big success stories has been England Women's World Cup star Fara Williams. Fara was homeless for six years and came through the organisation to become the most capped player in English football history and only her and David Beckham have scored in three world cups. Fara is a patron of the Homeless Football Association as well as playing for Liverpool Ladies and she also coaches LHFC's women's team. 

Another inspirational story is that of James Buckley, 24, who is now head of coaching at the Homeless Football Association. James was, is, a promising footballer and had a trial with Crewe Alexandria. But, following the death of his adoptive mum when he was 19, his life spiralled out of control  after he squandered his £20,000 inheritance on four months of partying and he found himself without a home. He eventually came to Merseyside and found Liverpool Homeless Football Club who introduced him to the semi-professional AFC Liverpool with whom he now plays. James is still very closely involved in every aspect of LHFC alongside his duties with the national team.

LHFC Chair  John Finnigan explained that one of the main causes of homelessness amongst young adults is the absence of parents or guardians. A survey of 100 LHFC members found that 67 did not have a parent or guardian. As one player Mark said: “ Liverpool Homeless isn't a football club, it's my home.”

John is also to keen to highlight how football can break down barriers and cites examples of people coming to the club who can't speak English but as soon as the football comes out the barriers are broken down. John firmly believes that “a ball can change the world.”

LHFC men's 11 is being sponsored by housing association One Vision for the next three years and the Morgan Foundation support the women's team. LHFC also has five-a-side teams and a Walking Football team for players with limited mobility.