Stories

CROWN & MANOR

Timothy Eyoma (TJ)

TJ came to the club as a 9 year old interested in the youth club and football. He was a nice boy that got involved in most of the clubs activities. At the age of 13 his football talent was very evident. He was talent spotted and asked to go on trial for Tottenham Hotspur.

The trial didn’t work out for TJ and he returned to Crown and Manor with his confidence shattered. The staff at the Club worked with him to gain his confidence back and to get him back to the point where he loved to play.

The following year TJ had another chance to trial at Tottenham Hotspur and this time he smashed it. He signed for the team and as a club we were extremely happy for him.

 TJ impressed so much at Tottenham that he was called up to the Under 16s England squad, and was part of the team that won the U17’s World Cup, a massive achievement. TJ is going from strength to strength and is currently at Tottenham Hotspur, captaining the U21 team.

HACKNEY LACES

Hannah (16) from Hackney was nine when her parents split up. Her dad is an alcoholic and refused to leave the family home, forcing Hannah and her mum go and live with her nan. Life at school wasn’t much better – she was bullied so badly, she was forced to leave. Once, a girl smashed Hannah’s head onto a table so hard, it led to hearing loss in one ear. She now needs a hearing aid. Others threatened to stab or shoot her and tried to kick her door down at home. Seeking a way out, Hannah self-harmed and tried to take her own life.

When Hannah’s dad eventually moved out, he took everything with him including the fridge, washing machine and Hannah’s favourite teddy, Mr Tiggle. Her mum didn’t have the money to start again, so they had to rely on other family members. As a means of escape, Hannah’s mum was keen for her to join a club or activity. After some research, she discovered ‘Hackney Laces’. At first, Hannah wasn’t a huge football fan, but five years later she loves it and is now a regular.

Hannah credits the club with changing her life. Now she has something to look forward to every week. Thanks to Hackney Laces and regular counselling, her confidence has grown, she’s made new friends and her mum knows that she is safe and happy at the club. Hannah has built up resilience and feels more optimistic about life. After completing her GCSEs at college, Hannah hopes to train in hair and beauty.

FOOTBALL BEYOND BORDERS

Matthew, aged 14

FBB Programme: FBB Schools     

Started with FBB: February 2014

Best times with FBB: Winning a tournament for FBB on the pitch at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and then being awarded the trophy by Robert Pires.

What he says about FBB: “FBB has shown us a different path in life and helped teenagers become men with a real sense of hope about our futures. They have helped us to realise that we all have different talents and opinions and that these should be respected.”What his teachers say about him: “Matthew has developed immensely in Football Beyond Borders. He has become much more focused in school as he now has much more pride in himself. He feels like he is part of something and he feels like he is a leader.”