Sunday, May 24, 2020

Liverpool FC and Tranmere Rovers FC team up to help Wirral residents

Liverpool FC and Tranmere Rovers FC team up

Liverpool FC will be offering their support to Tranmere Rovers Football Club's ongoing community response initiatives by assisting residents in Wirral during the pandemic. Part of the Reds' Unity is Strength community response to the crisis, a team of Liverpool FC staff volunteers is providing support to TRFC’s own community response initiatives - two Liverpool city region clubs working together to help those in need.

LFC staff volunteers will join TRFC volunteers distributing leaflets to thousands of residents outlining what support is in place for those in need. These will help to raise awareness of their support initiatives amongst people who perhaps do not have access to the internet or social media.

Alongside this, LFC staff volunteers will be playing a helping hand in preparing and delivering meals and food parcels to residents in the area. LFC has seconded one of its professional chefs usually based at Anfield to Tranmere Rovers for one day a week to help their team to produce meals for the most vulnerable people in the local community. TRFC (along with their partner charity, HelpLink) is also running a befriending service, which will also be supplemented by LFC staff volunteers, to make befriending phone calls to older and vulnerable people who may be isolated, worried and lonely during this challenging time.

Nicola Palios, Tranmere’s Vice Chairman, said "At a time of crisis it is great to see any football rivalries being put aside, and two Merseyside clubs working together to help our communities. When the Covid lock-down was announced, Tranmere and HelpLink quickly established a scheme to support the elderly and vulnerable in Wirral, and we are delighted that Liverpool FC are able to offer us some additional resource for that initiative, as demand for our support is increasing daily."

Matt Parish, director of LFC Foundation, said: "We are proud to be working alongside Tranmere Rovers FC to support their local community response work. It’s so important that we unite during these difficult times to help each other and support as many people as we can in our local communities."

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Reds chefs prepare 1,000 fresh meals a week to support LFC’s local communities and key workers

Reds chefs prepare 1,000 fresh meals a week

LFC’s professional chefs have upscaled their operation and are now producing 1,000 fresh meals every week to support the club's local communities in Anfield and Kirkby and key workers across Merseyside.

Reds chefs prepare 1,000 fresh meals a week

The meals, which form part of the Club’s ‘Unity is Strength’ COVID-19 community response work, provide essential fuel to those who need it most, including Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service firefighters and fire control officers and North West Ambulance Service staff.

Local school hubs and community groups who are currently supporting some of the most vulnerable children and families in the Club’s local communities in Anfield and Kirkby are also receiving hundreds of fresh meals every week.

Reds chefs prepare 1,000 fresh meals a week

Freshly prepared in the kitchens at Anfield, the meals offer a range of vegetarian and gluten free options, including, leek and potato soup, katsu chicken curry and braised rice, vegetable Cornish pasty, pasta bolognese and a trio of cakes. Gary Oakford, area manager, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, said: “As a long-standing partner of the LFC Foundation we were delighted to be considered to be part of this initiative along with our NWAS colleagues.

Liverpool FC.

The donation of prepared meals for our key workers is most generous and has been welcomed by all of the staff who are working in support of the broader response to COVID-19.” Forbes Duff, senior manager, Red Neighbours, added: “Since we started producing the meals, we have seen a big uptake and therefore we have been working hard to increase our volumes to support the growing demand.

Helping more local families, vulnerable people and key workers who are sacrificing so much to help people is really important to us - we want to help our local communities as much as we can. “If we can take the pressure off key workers by providing them with a fresh meal so they don’t have to cook after an exhaustingly long shift or to school hubs who are doing a fantastic job looking after vulnerable children and key workers’ children - that’s really the least we can do to say thank you.” 

North West Ambulance Service, deputy chief executive, Michael Forrest commented: “This is a fabulous gesture by Liverpool Football Club and I’m sure I speak for all the staff in Merseyside when I say how grateful we are. “Our staff are working incredibly hard at the moment. Knowing there is a hot, nutritious meal waiting for them will go a long way in letting them know how well thought of they are by the communities they serve. I’m sure the staff will love them!”

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Voices in support of LaLiga's return to action

Voices in support of LaLiga's return to action

Several key figures in Spanish football, from players and coaches to directors, have spoken out about why the time is right for LaLiga to restart. Clubs from LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank, the top two divisions in Spanish football, are returning to training this week following approval from the Spanish Ministry of Health and medical tests carried out by club staff. The return of competitive football is a step closer, and many figures from around the game are excited at the prospect of the ball starting to roll again and have spoken out in support.

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitić and Real Madrid duo Sergio Ramos and Lucas Vázquez are just a few of the several high-profile players to have voiced their support for the return. “I think it is time for those of us who are involved in football to take a step forward,” Rakitić explained in an interview with Spanish newspaper MARCA. “Socially, we must take a step, to be able to entertain people with what they like and help people stop thinking all about viruses and disease.”

Voices in support of LaLiga's return to action

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos this week made clear his desire to return to playing speaking with Real Madrid TV: “We must listen to the instructions from the Spanish Ministry of Health. I can’t wait to get back playing and competing. To play in LaLiga, the Champions League, and for the competitions to be finished… as long as there is no risk of contagion.”

Voices in support of LaLiga's return to action

Teammate Lucas Vázquez echoed that point about football being able to take people’s minds off the tragedy associated with the coronavirus. As he told The Guardian: “If we can play, with the right safety measures, we’d all love to complete the season. It would be good for people, for society. For two hours you’re not just thinking only about this. Football brings happiness.” This opinion is also held in the coaching community.

As Villarreal head coach Javi Calleja told El Periódico Mediterráneo: “Football can give people hope that this will finish soon, and it means people will be able to have some happiness and entertainment in their homes.”

Those at more modest clubs are also keen for football to make a comeback, in many cases because of the same pressing financial realities that are also facing workers in other industries that have been affected across Spain and the rest of the world. “We don’t all earn millions,” said Dani Barrio of LaLiga SmartBank side Real Zaragoza, during a discussion on social media. “I come from playing in the third tier and am playing to put bread on the table for the next five to six years.”

Cádiz CF defender Juan Cala made a similar point during an appearance on COPE radio. “I’m in favour of returning because it’s the most logical thing,” he said. “We may come from a better or worse family, but we all need to work to put bread on the table and for the economy to make a comeback. Football isn’t just about the professional players, as there are lots of others who live from it.” Professional football in Spain has been shown to account for 1.37% of the country’s entire GDP, according to an independent study carried out by PwC.

This point was raised by Elche CF CEO Patricia Rodríguez Barrios as she tackled the issue in a social media post. “The football industry is often put down by other industries and workers, who think that we’re all privileged millionaires who only work on the day of a match,” she said. “No special treatment has been asked for. We’re only asking to be treated the same as other industries and to be allowed to work.”

Other club directors have also called for football to be allowed to return. “My first concern is health, which is the most important, but I’m also concerned about the economic stability of the clubs,” Sevilla FC sporting director Monchi told national TV broadcaster TVE. “I think we need to finish the league season and I don’t think there is any club not wanting it played,” added Villarreal CF president Fernando Roig on COPE. LaLiga is overseeing a carefully calculated protocol to ensure that football can return and that the 2019/20 season can be completed.

As LaLiga president Javier Tebas has explained: “People’s health is paramount, so we have a comprehensive protocol to safeguard the health of everyone involved as we work to restart LaLiga. Circumstances are unprecedented, but we hope to start playing again in June and finish our 2019/20 season this summer. The return of football is a sign that society is progressing towards the new normal. It will also bring back an element of life that people in Spain and around the world know and love.”




Victor Hermans is a football legend and one of the most respected coaches in the world as he
continues to spread his love of futsal to all those who are willing to learn. Victor is a true Futsal legend and has made a global impact with his high-level coaching, mentoring, and passion at both the international and the grassroots level.

Victor was a legendary Futsal player and was named player of the tournament in the 1989 Most Valuable Player of the first FIFA World Futsal Championship which was held in the Netherlands. Victor has since gone on to be a world-renowned coach with teams from all around the world and is often sought as an expert to give FIFA and UEFA Futsal coaching sessions.

For the rest of the interview, please go here:

Saturday, May 9, 2020

The Frank Soo Google Doodle

The Frank Soo Google Doodle

Frank Soo was the first non-white player to have ever played for the England national football team and still is the only player of Asian descent to reach that level in England. However, his matches were during WWII so were not recognised as official caps. Frank played mainly at Stoke City, where he captained the late “Wizard of the Dribble”, Sir Stanley Matthews but also spent time at Leicester City and Luton Town.

He also guested for clubs such as Chelsea, Newcastle, and Everton to name but a few. He played 9 times for England and today, 9th May, marks the first time he played for England in 1942 against Wales. In honour of that momentous occasion, The Frank Soo Foundation has partnered up with Google to create a Google Doodle.

You can see the Doodle below but to see the moving Doodle in action, please visit the Google home page/search page throughout 9th May. Designed by a Doodler at Google, the Doodle features old school boots, where the laces tie around the boots, and an iconic brown leather ball. In the football card, where the second "O" is in Google, you can see Frank smiling. Frank's nickname was "The Smiler", and if you look at some of his photos you can see why that is the case!

It is difficult to determine what number Frank played with as it was largely dependent on what team he was with at the time as well as what position he played in. However, his most common number was 6 and there is footage of him playing in an England kit with that number. This is the number that was selected for the rotating "g"/"6". The Frank Soo Foundation hopes to promote Frank’s story and support those who want to follow in this footsteps.

For more information, go to -

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Stand Up for the Red Devils


Standing fans are coming back to Manchester United for the first time since the Taylor Report.
Trafford Council has approved a proposal to bring in a section of rail seating in the north-east corner of Old Trafford.


At 1,500, the number of fans who can stand is small fry in a ground which holds 76,000 but symbolically it is a big victory for the Manchester United Supporters Trust which has been pushing for a return to standing for some time.

The railings separating the rows prevent the surges familiar to crowds of the terrace generations but at least some fans can savour a little of the superior atmosphere English fans enjoyed pre-Taylor.

Said report was in response to the Hillsborough tragedy in 1989 when 96 Liverpool fans asphyxiated but that was due to the fences stopping pitch incursions which prevented an escape from overcrowding.

This season, Oxford, Shrewsbury and Wycombe have been trialling safe standing and the Sports Ground Safety Authority issued an interim report praising its "positive impact on spectator safety."

Safe standing already exists at Celtic and Dortmund amongst other a few clubs outside England, rail seating which converts to the seats required for UEFA competitions.

Hitherto, standing has been prohibited in England's top two divisions since the Taylor Report.

(c) Sean O'Conor & Soccerphile