by Chris Allen - £9.99 Twenty 9 Publishing (2021)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781838346805 | ISBN 10: 1838346805
Football Without Borders is the story of one man's search for the soul of football.
Having become disillusioned with the corporatisation of top-level football in the early 1990s, Chris Allen embarks on a love affair with non-league football.
Reinvigorated, he creates a refugee fan project at his local non-league club. With the help of a local church minister, it soon morphs into the first 11-a-side refugee football team in England. Ullet Road Church Rebels FC (‘the Rebels’) is more than a football club. It is a family for young players who travelled to the UK to escape torture and death in their home countries.
Set in the context of the global refugee crisis, the book is a heart wrenching, but at times funny, memoir that documents the lives and times of a unique football team and its players. It tells the tale of the Rebels' first full season and what happens when football talks the language of ‘respect’, but fails to practice what it preaches.
Chris Allen has written Football Without Borders from his unique vantage point as the Rebels’ co-founder, club secretary, minibus driver, kit man, wannabe coach and #1 fan. Chris' close relationships with the players enable him to write sensitively about their lives as refugee footballers.
(Price & availability last checked: July 2021)
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In booklists: Football, Immigration, Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Local Lives: Liverpool, In categories: Health & Wellbeing, Society, Welfare, Justice & the State, Anti-Racism, Peace & Human Rights, Black, Asian & Other Diasporas, History & Biography, Local Interest,