How has football changed your life?

The Homeless World Cup is taking Cardiff by storm. Some of those providing the off-the-pitch entertainment at this year's event, including Sara Pascoe and Ceri Jackson, tell us how football transformed their lives

Sara Pascoe
“Football taught me the importance of rebellion. At my school girls were not allowed to play the sport in P.E and that meant the boys wouldn’t let girls play at lunch time. My sister and I made many enemies by playing on the same pitch, at the same time as the boys, with a ball we’d brought from home. It’s what Cantona would’ve done!”

Jason Mohammed, presenter of BBC’s Final Score
“As a football presenter on TV and Radio – you can imagine how much I love the game and adore it. I’ll watch any game on TV and love being at Cardiff City matches. I went to the reopening of my old school recently in Caerau in Cardiff, and the memories came flooding back as I stood on the pitch where in 1988/89 – we came from 4-0 down against Stanwell to win 5-4 in the Schools Cup. The friends I made in that Glyn Derw team will be friends for life. I’m so proud to be part of the Homeless World Cup (and if you need a tired old 45-year-old to shore up the midfield – I’ll bring my boots.) Good luck all!”

Ceri Jackson, host of BBC podcast Shreds: Murder in the dock
“On the day I was born, my football-mad dad was late so see me at St David’s Hospital in Cardiff because he was busy watching the Bluebirds. It was his job (he’s a sports reporter) so I let him off but I never let him forget it! The Homeless World Cup is such a positive, inclusive, empowering way of highlighting a problem which has become an depressing, everyday reality on the streets of Cardiff.  I’m thrilled it can be a platform to tell the story of Shreds, where lives were changed for a completely different- yet equally as depressing- reason and finally they get to tell their story.”

Deborah Frances-White, The Guilty Feminist
“I love the joint hope, the rowdy singing and the spontaneous hugging.”

Faye Rogers, singer, Rosehip Teahouse
“Football has changed my life in a slightly bizarre way as my parents would have started their marriage on rocky ground if it wasn’t for a kind move from Swindon Town FC. So, my parents had booked their wedding day and it turned out there was a big home match the same Saturday. My dad was upset about missing the game (as he went to every one of them – real dedication) and concerned that lots of the people invited the to the wedding would be too, so wrote to STFC asking if they could change the date of the match….which they did….and ended up getting great tickets and weird press exposure. There’s a photo of our family with me as a baby with a Swindon town scarf wrapped around me somewhere. So weird!”

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Herbie Powell, bassist, SYBS
“Wales’ Euro 2016 campaign will go down as the greatest summer in every Welshman’s life, mine included. A whole month of celebrating our tiny country’s achievements on the world stage which will never be forgotten. The tournament showed the world what Wales is all about, more than anything else before or since; passion and pride.”

Wigwam
“Collectively as a band, playing football has never been our strong suit. However, we have always held a real passion for the beautiful game. If we had to pinpoint a life changing football moment for us, it would probably be Wales’ fantastic stint in Euro 2016. Having spent years attending Wales internationals in a near-empty Millennium Stadium, to reach a major tournament was one thing, but to get so far was something else. The tournament fell during and in the aftermath of our GCSEs, and so for those few weeks the buzz spending days drinking in the park before going to the fanzone in Cooper’s Field was truly magical. There was also a true sense of Welsh unity around at the time, which cultivated a real pride in the language for us, something I’d say was key in us forming Wigwam. That summer was trans formative for so many reasons, and we’d like to think that football played a big part in that.”

Click here for full details of events taking place at this year’s Homeless World Cup