Football

Partner link: Top 10 Sportsmanship Moments 2017 (part 2)

Part 1 covered sportsmanship moments number 10 to moment number 6 which included brave little Bradley Lowery, Joe Hart, French rugby and German football fans opening their homes to opposition fans, a subtle, yet magical moment in the US Masters between a Spaniard and an Englishman and a US Baseball moment. Now we’re going to reveal the Top Sportsmanship Moment of 2017 – starting with the 5th best moment.

5. All Blacks v Lions 3rd Test

A fantastic test series amidst an arduous tour of 10 games in 5 weeks – coach, Warren Gatland christened it ‘the suicide tour’. The Lions had 5 wins, 4 defeats and a draw in their bruising 10 match tour. And they somehow drew the test series. So the victory presentation and photos had both teams mixed in together with both captains, Kieran Read and Sam Warburton,   sharing and holding the trophy aloft. Both were smiling.

Kieran Read (wearing his 100th cap cap) & Sam Warbuton - all smiles

Kieran Read (wearing his 100th cap ‘cap’) & Sam Warburton – all smiles

Some might feel a draw was a good result for the Lions and a not-so-good result for the ABs, but the smiles in the photo here say it all – it was a thrilling 3rd and final test.   kiwi captain, Kieran Read, was terrific -he  seemed to realise the battle was over and beamed a genuine sportsmanship smile throughout the whole proceedings, despite some players finding it all a bit awkward (as most of them, if not all of them, have never shared/drawn a test series before).

 

4. Lewis Hamilton Risks Title & Lets Team-Mate Overtake Him   

Lewis Hamilton slowed down at the last bend of the Hungarian GP to allow his Mercedez team mate, Valterri Bottas, to overtake him & take his 3rd place spot, and enjoy a spot on the podium.  That cost Hamilton three points and would ultimately reduce his total score – so come the end of the season, this could have cost him the world championship.

Earlier in the race, Bottas was ordered to allow Hamilton past him so Hamilton could pursue Vettel and his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.  Hamilton, promised he would give the place back to Bottas if he couldn’t catch the Ferrari duo. He honoured his promise and pulled aside for his team-mate on the final corner of the final lap – despite reducing his score. Many world championships have been lost by less than 3 points but we’re happy to confirm, Hamilton did go on to win the 2017 World Championship.

 

3. Claudio Ranieri Leicester City’s Sacked Manager’s  Honourable Exit Speech,

After being voted coach of the year in 2016 and winning the Premier League  against 5000-1 odds, Leicester City were struggling in 2017 and the manager, Ranieri, was shockingly sacked.  before he left,  he made an honourable and dignified farewell speech – without any bitterness, no vitriol nor vile, just love. Here’s some excerpts from his final, and most beautiful, goodbye speech:

The adventure was amazing and will live with me forever. Thank you to all the journalists and the media who came with us and enjoyed reporting on the greatest story in football.  My heartfelt thanks to everybody at the Club, all the players, the staff, everybody who was there and was part of what we achieved. But mostly to the supporters.

You took me into your hearts from day one and loved me. I love you too.

No one can ever take away what we together have achieved, and I hope you think about it and smile every day the way I always will.

It was a time of wonderfulness and happiness that I will never forget.

It’s been a pleasure and an honour to be a Champions with all of you.”  Full speech

Ranieri will be forever loved by all Leicester City fans and I think all football fans. Here are some   funny  clips from his video interviews – published by Leicester City FC.

 

 

2. Anthony Joshua’s Classy Tribute to Wladimir Klitschko’

Joshua is a great ambassador for sport. He doesn’t do pre-match bad mouthing the opposition. He treats them with respect, in such a serious and dangerous sport. His first social media message after his epic world title fight against the Ukranian, Wladimir Klitschko: Joshua tweeted to his half-million followers: ‘Styles make fights. Respect @klitschko_official’.

Joshua instagram message of respect to his opponent

After the fight, in front of 90,000 fans in Wembley, Joshua posted a message of respect to his opponent

Klitschko also praised Joshua via social media and in his press interviews. Mutual respect between two top pro’s.

 

1. Thailand’s New Snooker Star, Sunny Akani, says ‘Thank You For The Game’ to his victor, Ronnie O’Sullivan

During a World Class Battle – a Star & a Friend-For-Life emerged in early just 3 weeks ago (7 Dec).  A new kid on the block, who took on the world’s best and gave a masterclass in the exquisite skills of snooker combined with the wonderful warmth of great sportsmanship.

Thailand’s 22 year old Sunny Akani, dazzled the 5 times world champ, Ronnie O’Sullivan and when things went wrong for the young Thai – he just smiled, repeatedly. Such was the mutual respect and warmth of friendship between the two, that they did the post-match interview together. Sunny said Ronnie was his hero. And then he thanked Ronnie for the game. So few remember that without an opposition you don’t have a game -hence thanking the opposition is so refreshing to hear.

To see the commentators’ reaction to Sunny & his snooker shots – watch the above video. If you just want to see the wonderful interview between two new lifelong friends – skip forward to 11 mins 20 seconds)

Ronnie said British audiences already love Sunny because (not only is he brilliant) but he ‘played with a smile on his face.’ Audiences love that, said Ronnie. They then both bowed to each other with the prayer-like ‘Wai’   gesture & then briefly spoke Thai to each other whilst wearing great big grins!

Absolutely beautiful – watch this video to the end because a star is born.  Congratulations to Sunny Akino on achieving the number one sportsmanship moment 2017 and to Ronnie for being, well… the wonderfully humble, honest, humorous, friendly and most talented, Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Happy New Year To One and All

—end—

If you liked this, you might also like:

Part 1 of 2017 Sportsmanship Moments

The Power of A Smile

 

Why not become a Great Sportsmanship Ambassador – help change the world plus it looks great on your CV and Linkedin Page. Takes 2 mins to fill in the form and after that, all we ask is that you share and like (and comment if you have time) on these monthly posts, and/or our daily facebook posts Great Sportsmanship  or instagram GreatSportsmanship

Partner link: Top 10 Sportsmanship Moments 2017

Here we are, once again, reviewing the year. Some great stories this year, plus a surprising number 1 moment. We’ll start with number 10 and work our way down to the number 1 moment – which surprises many but once they see the video – they get it!

Having just completed the BBC Radio London interview with the amazing host, Phil Parry, we are awaiting confirmation as to when exactly the Top 10 will be released – probably Wed 27 Dec.

We will release just numbers 10 to 6 for now and we will wait until BBC Radio London announce our final choice before publishing the remaining numbers 5 to 1, with 1 being 1st place, or the Top Moment…. so pls bear with me.

Meanwhile, here are numbers 10- 6…….

 

Number 10.

Moment/s of Kindness with the wonderful Bradley Lowery (so many moments….)

Jermaine Defoe became friends with the six-year-old, terminally ill little Sunderland supporter, the wonderful Bradley Lowery. They met when Bradley was a mascot & they became great friends. Little Bradley’s   bravery, humour and warmth of character inspired Jermaine & (in Jermaine’s own words) taught Jermaine a lot about the precious gift of life & love.

 

There were many magical moments – which you can see Jermaine talking about on video. But there’s one in particular …

Jermaine was playing for England at Wembley and had Bradley with him as a mascot in the queue in the tunnel, when Joe Hart, the England captain, turned around and asked Jermaine to lead the team out with Bradley – an incredible gesture by Joe Hart. Full story here.

Bradley Lowery Foundation to help other children

Bradley Lowery Foundation to help other children

Incidentally, little Jermaine’s parents got a standing ovation at the BBC Sports Personality of the year awards when they announced the Bradley Lowery Foundation to help other children.

 

9.  Racing 92 Rugby Club Invite Munster Rugby Fans to Stay With Them 

When they rescheduled Champions Cup match because of the sudden death of the Munster coach,  Anthony Foley (in Paris on the morning of the match), Racing 92 RFC sent a message to Munster Supporters Club inviting fans, when they return to Paris, to stay with the Racing 92 fans homes – as it is expensive to have to travel to Paris twice for one game.

This trip was already very emotional for the many Munster fans. And now this great French club do this?

“We are absolutely blown away by it. As a supporters club, we are deeply appreciative of the offer, we don’t even have the words to express our gratitude to Racing supporters,”

Ian Buckley, secretary of Munster Rugby Supporters Club.

Racing 92 and Munster logos

Racing 92 and Munster – friends for life

The brotherhood of rugby knows no bounds. These two clubs are friends for life now.

And, good news, it’s not just the brotherhood or rugby that knows no bounds… the brotherhood of football is alive as well too……

 

8  Dortmund Open Their Homes To Monaco Fans  

After the Champions League match was postponed for a day because of three explosions aimed at the Dortmund team bus (with only one relatively minor injury)   caused the game to be postponed by one day.

Dortmund’s official Twitter account called on their own fans to help out their Monaco fans, using the hashtag #BedForAwayFans.

Dortmund FC tweet asking their fans to help Monaco fans

Dortmund FC ask their fans to help Monaco fans

The next day at the match the Monaco fans  chanted  ‘Dortmund, Dortmund’ – you can see it and hear it all here .

 

7. Magical Masters Moment in Augusta

Spain’s Sergio Garcia and Britain’s Justin Rose were both trying to win their first U.S. Masters when a special moment occurred on the 15th hole.  Both players were playing ‘incredible golf’.

Augusta, Georgia

Augusta, Georgia

Garcia got an eagle & then Rose putted a very high pressure birdy to keep the score level. As they walked off the green, Garcia, patted Rose on the back amidst a fantastic battle in arguably, the greatest golf tournament in the World, The Masters in Augusta.

https://goo.gl/images/yGF81p

the beautiful Hogan Bridge, Augusta

Friendship & encouragement of your opponent during the heat of battle – extraordinary stuff.

BTW, Garcia won it in the end, on the day, that would have been his hero, Seve Ballesteros’, 60th birthday.

 

6. Baseball’s Respect & Friendship Among Competitors

Texas Rangers Baseball star, Adrian Beltre made his 3,000th career hit in Major League Baseball. The next day, the Rangers played the Mariners in Seatle and Beltre faced ace pitcher Felix Hernandez.

Hernandez was about to pitch to Beltre, when he stopped,…. walked over to  Beltre and gave him a  quick hug (for reaching the career milestone, the night before), then walked back and pitched at him.

An old baseball ball

Baseball respect and friendship

It was a quick moment … a public display of friendship & respect between two opposition players.  You can see it here.

 

Coming soon …. after BBC Radio London sports show host, Phil Parry announces the winner plus broadcasts the interview with me covering all 10 Top 10 Sportsmanship Moments of 2017.

 

Partner link: Smiling Helps You Win In Sport and in Life

Why Does Everyone Love The Smiling Nicola Adams?

Apart from formerly working construction sites and as a tea lady behind the scenes on UK TV’s Coronation Street,  she is Britain’s only boxer to have retained a gold medal in consecutive Olympics. That is a very good reason in itself. But there is something else magical about her. It’ that smile. It’s infectious.

Nicola Adams and her wonderful smile

Nicola Adams and her wonderful smile

 

Greatest Long Distance Runner Always Smiled

A smile adds value to an athlete. People remember stars that smile more than stars that don’t! Here’s Elizabeth Egan,  former head of High Performance Sport, University of East London (and author of  Altitude Training Travel Guide) talking about how a smile adds value to an athlete’s worth.  “It’s interesting the power of a smile & personalities in sport. ……. but if you ask the general public ‘who is the greatest distance runner of all time, they will probably say Haile Gebrselassie  despite the fact that he has lost all 3 of his world records, two of them to his fellow countryman  Kenenisa Bekele”.   Gebrselassie  always had a  big smile. Everybody loved him.

Brazil’s Greatest Footballer Always Smiles  

Ask who was Brazil’s greatest footballer ever and most people will say Pele but in fact, Brazilians will tell you it was Garrincha. But he didn’t have Pele’s smile & friendly style. People remember Pele. Here is that beautiful photograph of Pele and England’s 1966 World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore smiling as friends, after their epic 1970 battle. It is such a great photograph, I put it on the cover of my sportsmanship book (the last image at the bottom of the cover). People remember the smile.

Pele and Bobby Moore embrace and smile as life-long friends

Pele and Bobby Moore (the last photograph) embrace and smile as life-long friends

 

 

New Snooker Superstar Plays With A Smile On His Face

Meet Sunny Akino from Thailand. Just 22 years old and he gave the most fantastic snooker performance seen in years, two weeks ago against his hero, the 5 times world champion, 44 year old Ronnie ‘The Rocket’ O’Sullivan.  Read the full story here. Sunny continuously smiled and thanked Ronnie for the game and Ronnie (smiling too) says all of Britain loves Sunny because, on top of being a world class snooker player, ‘he played with a smile on his face’.

Watch the post-match interview (11 mins 27 seconds) and/or hear what the commentators say about Sunny

 

Try To Smile As Much As You Can

They used to give medals for poetry in the Olympics. The last gold medal for poetry was awarded in London 1948 Olympic Games.  Here is a 60 second poem about smiling. It should be read out all games and remembered throughout your life. try to remember this invaluable little poem about smiling, narrated by Malcolm Weaving, from the Campaign For Courtesy.

 

So there, you have it. A lifetime Tip – use your smile. it’s an international language and will help you to get more things done, make more friends and oil the wheels of life.  We don’t know who wrote this poem. if you do – please tell us. Or also tell us how a smile helped you – we’d love to hear your story.

If you like this poem, you might also like this other, even shorter,  poem about sportsmanship. It is visually beautiful with amazing ornate graphics & makes a great Christmas gift or birthday present if you print it and frame it. We don’t know who wrote that poem either and have a 9 year ongoing discussion about it. Let us know if you know.

Happy Christmas

Paul

PR Smith

Partner link: Club Helps Community Deal With Grenfell Disaster

The Grenfell Tower fire tragedy left over 80 residents dead and hundreds without a home to live in. This disaster touched the hearts of the nation and opened up goodwill & human kindness for all to see. Many many people donated money, clothes, water, anything to help those people that had lost absolutely everything. Local club, QPR, are playing their part too.

Two hands shaking

Communities coming together

Marcus Mumford, Shahin (a Grenfell Tower survivor) and Les Ferdinand

Marcus Mumford, Shahin (a Grenfell Tower survivor) and Les Ferdinand holding QPR Grenfell shirts

Many football clubs did their bit to donate large sums of money as well including Chelsea  v Arsenal, Community Shield match. This week, championship side, Queens Park Rangers Football Club, which is based just down the road from Grenfell Tower, announced that it will  hold  a charity football match to raise money and awareness for those affected by this tragedy.

QPR fans on the pitch at Loftus Road

QPR has always been a real local community club

Olly Murs with QPR Grenfell shirt

Special QPR Grenfell shirt

The match will have ex professional players such as Alan Shearer,  Les Ferdinand (who was brought up in the area) and David Seaman  along with celebrities such as Olly Murs and Wretch 32 along with many others.

The Loft in Loftus Road Stadium

The Loft in QPR’s Loftus Road Stadium

Olly Murs (singer) with his QPR Grenfell shirt

Olly Murs (singer)

The match will be held at Loftus Road Stadium on the 2nd of September 2017 at 3 p.m. Tickets are £15 each and all money raised goes to those affected by this tragedy. please tell a friend. More information on this QPR Grenfell  charity match.

See more sportsmanship in football stories here.

Partner link: Top 10 Sportsmanship Moments 2016

Well here we are again, having sifted through hundreds of amazing sportsmanship stories, we’ve final got out Top 10 moments and ultimately, the Number 1 Moment from 2016. As always, we’ll do it in reverse order.

 

In 10th Place:   Irish and Swedish Football Fans Dance Together – Euro 2016

sw-irl

Swedish and Irish fans happily sing Abba together before their big Euro 2016 match

Euro 2016 had some good football and some really great fun between the fans. Jointly singing to the famous Swedish band, Abba, Irish & Swedish fans joined together and had a lot of fun dancing in the sunshine together. Followed by a great game of football (1-1), followed by more dancing, singing and all round fun. THIS IS A CELEBRATION OF THE BROTHERHOOD OF FOOTBALL – watch the smiling faces .

In 9th Place: Indian and English Cricket Fans:  Opposition Fans Swap Shirts

English cricket fan swaps shirt with Indian fan

English cricket fan salutes india’s superiority and swaps shirts

Victorious Indian cricket fan swaps shirt with heavily beaten English fan. Just look at all the smiling faces as the Englishman is big enough to acknowledge that India are the top team this time around.  Watch the smiling faces as Indians all around him applaud and smile warmly.

In 8th Place: Fijian Rugby Never Gives Up

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Keep Trying For 60 Years & Then Win Gold – Fiji Olympic Heroes. For the first time ever in the history of the Olympics, the Fijian National Anthem was played as the Rugby 7s team stood on the podium and celebrated their first Olympic gold medal. The Fijians have, in my opinion, played the most exciting 15 a side rugby for a long, long time. The ‘voice of rugby’,  Bill McLaren, used to describe the Fijians as the most exciting rugby players in the world. Sadly, New Zealand poach many of their best players which dilutes their chances in the 15 a-side-game. Perhaps this historic Olympic win will help them find a sponsor and to ultimately retain their best players. Many congratulations to the brilliant Fijian rugby nation.
Fiji @fiji Tourism Fiji High Commission of Fiji, London Fiji Rugby Fiji national rugby sevens team Fiji National University (FNU) National Archives of Fiji

 

In 7th Place: British Olympian Loses Crown With Dignity (& Friendship)

Photo of Jessica Ennis-Hill throwing the javlin

Jessica Ennis-Hill

Great Britain’s Jessica Ellis-Hill shows great humbleness in losing her Olympic title to Germany’s brilliant  Nafi Thiam in  #Rio2016Olympics. The young German produced 5 personal bests (out of 7 disciplines) to beat the #London2012 heptathlon champion. Look at the photos and you’ll see Ellis Hill smiling warmly and embracing the young German. What a great champion Jessica Ellis -Hill was – she knew how to win and how to lose – with dignity and warmth.

 

In 6th Place: Athletics: Never Give Up – Even When The Chips Are Down

Former refugee, Britain’s Mo Farah fell over mid race in the 10,000m final in #Rio2016, got up, dusted himself off and went on to win the race and a gold medal.  Mo Farah’s parents were refugees from Mogadishu, Somalia and young Mo found life very difficult in Britain, getting into trouble. Tomorrow, he is being awarded a knighthood by the Queen in Buckingham Palace when the Queen will say ‘Arise Sir Mo’. He already did, bristling with bravery and buckets of courage, he never gave up, even when things went horribly wrong and went on to win gold.

 

In 5th Place: Wise Words From A Baseball Manager:

The Chicago Cubs waited 108 years to win the World Series (baseball). 5 million people showed up to see the victory reception! Even the dinosaurs wore the Cubs shirts.

dinosaur-cubs-b-2016

Their wise coach, Joe Maddon gave some very wise advice to his players as the pressure built. This advice should be shared with all sports people: “Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure.”

Don't ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasuree

Wise words from Chicago Cubs Manager

In 4th Place: Magnificent Maori Gesture At Start of Munster Game

A magnificent gesture from the Maori All Blacks before playing Munster when they laid an All Blacks shirt on the ground, in the rain. It had the initials AF on the shirt as a tribute to Munster and Irish Rugby legend, Anthony Foley’s, unexpected death. Listen to the Munster crowd applaud this wonderful gesture. All Blacks teams have a special place in the hearts of Munster fans – as you can see some other amazing moments between these teams.

 

In 3rd Place: Olympian Medal Winner Donates His Medal To Help Sick Boy

Photo of olympic flame

The Olympic flame burns brightly

The Olympic flame burns brighter than ever when you hear of this Olympian Polish discus thrower’s generosity of spirit. Piotr Mallachowski donates his silver medal to Olek Szymanski, a young boy who has retinoblastoma – a horrible eye cancer. The money raised from selling his Olympic silver medal enabled the yong Polish child to go to New York for treatment. More  .

 

In 2nd Place: Tennis: Changing The Referee’s Decision To Help The Opposition 

Although USA’s Jack Sock had won the critical point, he told his Australian opposition,  Lleyton Hewitt,  that his last serve (although judged to be OUT) was in fact IN. Sock said: “that was IN if you want to challenge it.” Hewitt couldn’t believe it (watch his startled face) & said OK “I challenge it” (which means they get to see a replay of the serve – which showed the ball was served onto the line – which is IN!  This was at a crucial stage in the match. The crowd gave Sock a standing ovation. Hewitt  then won the critical point.

 

In 1st Place: The Great Sportsmanship Programme’s 2016 Moment Of The year…. goes to…….

Football: Giving The Opposition The Cup

http://www.espnfc.co.uk/copa-sudamericana/story/3007505/atletico-nacional-ask-conmebol-to-declare-chapecoense-the-copa-sudamericana-2016-champion

Brazil’s Chapecoense  football club were loved by everyone as they came from the small city,  of Chapeco, had been promoted form the   4th division to the top flight  and were on their way to the biggest match in their history to play Atletico Nacional the final of the Copa Sudamericana in Colmbia when their plane crashed killing 71 of the 77 passengers (3 of the 6 survivors were players). Full story

The opposition club insisted the Copa Sudameicanna be given to Chapecoense  football club. Around the world we share some of the pain of the families and friends of Chapecoense Football Club. Clubs, international teams from different sports bowed thier heads in a minute’s silence to show solidarity and respect for the Chapecoense  football club.

We also salute Columbia’s Atletico Nacional for its kind sportsmanship gesture – insisting the cup be awarded to Chapecoense – proving that some things are far more important than winning. This is our number one moment of sportsmanship  from across the world of sport in 2016.

#Copa Sudameicanna #Chapecoense  #AtleticoNacional

Please do post a comment. And/or send us your sportsmanship story.  Let’s inspire each other in 2017.

 

Partner link: A Teacher, A Thinker & An Immigrant Change The World & Euro 2016

Thai School Kids Sing Irish Euro 2016 Song

This is Thai Tims singing with gusto the new Irish Euro 2016 song. There is a deep & beautiful & tragic yet inspirational story behind this. How one man made a big difference.

Berni Lennon is a half British, half Thai boy who loves football but was refused a place in many local Thai schools, because he had Down’s Syndrome.

Enter two retired well off Thais, Mr Praman and Mrs Yuvaret Sarakoses driven by their Buddhist beliefs wanted to help others & set up the Good Child Foundation to help poverty stricken kids falling into crime and deprivation. Triamsuksanayaiam School is one of their projects. Berni’s Mum & Dada made one last desperate appeal to a school to educate their son.

In a simple act of compassion  the Sarakoses said ‘Yes’

Berni was immediately accepted into the school. To demonstrate their gratitude, Berni’s parents, Paul and Rungthiwa volunteered to help to teach English.  With no teaching experience and no resources (for books etc.), they used songs to teach English. Songs from Celtic Football Club(Glasgow).

As you approach the school, you can hear the sounds of “The Fields of Athenry”, “The Town I loved so Well”, “Molly Malone” and “Dirty Old Town” Irish songs normally sung by Celtic fans sing – songs firmly rooted in the Celtic history of hardship, passion and pride.

Youtube Bridge Links Glasgow with Thailand

Things took a giant leap, when Glasgow people saw videos like the one above. Delighted Glaswegians sent donations. A steady flow. Eventually Celtic FC made the Good Child Foundation one of its official charities.  Video s like that above were shown on the big screens at the stadium – to the delighted of all fans.  This was ‘the most marvellous thing’ many fans had ever seen.

Enter 18 Year Old Glaswegian, Reamonn Gormley

Before starting university, a young, talented Glaswegian footballer offered his services as a volunteer for the summer. Along with another Irish student Paul and Rungthiwa took up  his offer. He taught English and sang with the children in the mornings and in the afternoons, he coached the football team (& played baseball). He had played for the Celtic youth team! He stayed with the Lennon’s and soon became like a son to them and like a big brother and best friend to Berni and his younger brother, Steven Noi. In the evenings he’d go to the river and fish with the old men.

Watching a video of Reamonn humbly saying goodbye in Thai and complimenting the whole country on its wonderful food and the most beautiful women in the world. He was relaxed and happy. He promised them he would come back next year.

A few months after returning home to Scotland, Reamonn Gormley was murdered. A mindless stabbing whilst being robbed by  Darren Maxwell, who was also a Celtic supporter. He even went to the same school, but Maxwell’s mother was a paranoid schizophrenic and his father was in and out of prison throughout his childhood.  Without resources & inspiration  these patterns continue,  kids falling deeper and deeper into crime. Something that Reamonn was helping to stop.

“It was music that kept their spirit free”

The Thai children sang these words in English. And it is true. Reamonn’s songs will be remembered forever in Thailand and his spirit lives on, still inspiring others.  In fact, in 2012, Paul and Rungthiwa Lennon, along with the support of the Celtic and Chanthaburi communities, somehow got 42 Thai children to travel to Glasgow. They sang for the fans at half time in Celtic Park. During their 3 week tour, they met everyone, including  Reamonn’s family.  Everywhere they went the were cheered. They even crossed the Irish Sea and visited Belfast where they played a concert and met the Lord Mayor. “Meeting them at the Titanic Museum (Belfast) and singing together was something I will never forget.” says Patrick Jackson, author of a wonderful article about Reamonn.

Having achieved more in his few short years than most of us do in a lifetime, Reamonn Gormley will be remembered. May Reamonn’s spirit continue to inspire us all.

 

http://www.goodchildfoundation.com

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/dgoodchildfoundation/timeline

http://www.eltnews.com/columns/patontheback/2013/06/reamonn_gormley_thai_tims.html

http://www.thecelticwiki.com/page/Supporters+-+Paul+Lennon+and+The+Good+Child+Foundation+(Thailand)

http://www.celticfc.net/mainindex

Partner link: Fans Sing For Opposition Goalkeeper Who Lost His Mother

It’s pretty rare for an athlete to get a standing ovation from opposing fans in any sport. But on Friday night in the Netherlands, that’s exactly what happened (reports Isaac Saul).

NAC Breda goalie Jelle ten Rouwelaar had lost his 61-year-old mother not long before their game against the Go Ahead Eagles. During the 61st minute of action, fans of the Go Ahead Eagles club — who were the home team — gave Rouwelaar a standing ovation.

But they weren’t done there. Shortly after, along with NAC Breda fans, they all broke into a rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Rouwelaar was clearly touched by the gesture, despite trailing in the game, and he took a moment to acknowledge the fans during their song. It was a truly beautiful moment that reminded everyone sports, and competition, aren’t the most important things in the world.

 

Thanks to  @ike_saul for reporting this and John Walsh for alerting us to this beautiful story.

See other inspirational football stories .

Join us. Become an ambassador (all we ask is that you share and spread these stories and our free posters.

Partner link: Fans Sing For Opposition Goalkeeper Who Lost His Mother

It’s pretty rare for an athlete to get a standing ovation from opposing fans in any sport. But on Friday night in the Netherlands, that’s exactly what happened (reports Isaac Saul).

NAC Breda goalie Jelle ten Rouwelaar had lost his 61-year-old mother not long before their game against the Go Ahead Eagles. During the 61st minute of action, fans of the Go Ahead Eagles club — who were the home team — gave Rouwelaar a standing ovation.

But they weren’t done there. Shortly after, along with NAC Breda fans, they all broke into a rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Rouwelaar was clearly touched by the gesture, despite trailing in the game, and he took a moment to acknowledge the fans during their song. It was a truly beautiful moment that reminded everyone sports, and competition, aren’t the most important things in the world.

 

Thanks to  @ike_saul for reporting this and John Walsh for alerting us to this beautiful story.

See other inspirational football stories .

Join us. Become an ambassador (all we ask is that you share and spread these stories and our free posters.

Partner link: Enjoy Yourself When You Play – Johan Cruijff (Cruyff)

 

Enjoy Yourself

“The main thing for everybody, especially for a sportsman, is that you must enjoy yourself otherwise you will never enjoy it and never be good at it. I say to my son. Do whatever you want to do. Do it with pleasure.” source: Johann Cruijff, Tribute to a footballing visionary . BBC 5 Live.

Laugh & Enjoy Yourself

“If you can laugh and enjoy yourself, it is one of the most important things there is.” Johan Cruijff

 

 

Johan Cruijff was widely regarded as one of the greatest players in football history. He helped Dutch football to rise up from obscurity to become a powerhouse in world football.  He led Holland to the 1974 FIFA World Cup final and received the Golden Ball as player of the tournament. It was here that the word saw the Cruijff Turn.

The Cruyff Turn

Although he was still, arguably, the best player in the world,  Johan Cruijff  decided not to play in the 1978 World Cup, because his family suffered an attempted kidnapping  and so he said “I made the decision to stop in ’78. Hey I’m in the wrong time. There are too many crazy people. Let’s calm down.”

He had already played with Ajax Amsterdam and helped them to win 3 consecutive European Cups (& 8 championships between 1964 & 1973). In 1974 he moved to Barcelona and helped them from bottom of the table to become champions.

 

To Enjoy Is Much More Important Than Only Winning

He came back as a manager many years later and helped Barcelona win the European Cup in 1992 at Wembley for the first time in their 100 year history. Cruijff was delighted and said: “And now, you didn’t only win it, but the way you won it. Don’t talk about You: ‘No. no. You won the game. No. No. We enjoy watching. Enjoying a game for Barcelona is much more important than only winning.”

Total Football & Total Humanity

Cruyff was an exponent of the Dutch philosophy of ‘Total Football’ – where any player  can move and play anywhere while his companion covers any gaps left behind.  this is exciting football to watch. The spirit of Johan Cruijff lives on forever, in his Cruijff Foundation which helps less fortunate children to play sport.

 

I Enjoyed Myself Very Much

“(I) don’t think about it too much because you get big headed about it. It’s just that I had a fantastic career where I enjoyed myself very much.”

 

As his son Jordi says, he was a legend. The rest of us are mere mortals.

 

Thank you Johan Cruijff

 

 

Partner link: FA Chairman Confirms Nelson Mandela’s Vision: ‘Sport Can Change The World’

Speaking passionately post-Paris terrorist attacks, at the Middlesex Wanderers AFC dinner, FA Chairman, Greg Dyke, spoke about a picture painting a thousand words and the power of the images of French and English players arm-in-arm singing the French national anthem with the Wembley arch lit up in red, white and blue. A spirit of solidarity which sent out a message to terrorists: ‘You’re not going to win because we will not be beaten.’

Greg Dyke went on to quote the great Nelson Mandela:

“Sport has the power to change the world.

“It has the power to inspire.

“It has the power to unite people that little else does.

“Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair.”

Dyke continued passionately by saying ‘Never were those words more appropriate than on that wet and windy, but ultimately uplifting, Tuesday night.’