We all love playing. But sometimes, finding a team in a new city, or one that suits your personality and can fit around your commitments, can be tough. Luckily, there’s Footy Addicts. A platform born for just those reasons, which has grown to 170,000 members, where you can sign up, turn up, socialise and enjoy a game any time of the week.
For many, it’s been life changing. From musicians to forensic accountants to Olympians, and from all parts of the world, we hear from nine Footy Addicts who can’t get enough of the ball at their feet.
Freddie – From Barman to Football Coach
“I used to work in a bar, and every Thursday night the last customers were these guys in their football kit. One day I asked if I could join them, so they made me a profile on the Footy Addicts app and it just took off from there. I started playing matches all over London and before long I was hosting and organising games and teams myself. I’ve met people from all over the world and we are all united by this same love. It’s nice to know you’re from another country, another language, another culture, another mentality, but at the same time we share football, this thing, rolling on the floor, scoring goals…it’s beautiful. I’m from Argentina – we don’t love football there, we live it. It’s different. But I’ve never been a very good player, so that’s why I took up coaching and now refereeing, too. I’m working in two academies, at Aldershot and also Hampton & Richmond Borough, as well as for a women’s team.”
Gary – Played Over Fifty Games in a Month
“I work for a football club and it’s always been a huge part of my life, but in recent months I’ve gone a bit crazy with it, aiming to play fifty games a month. In the early stages I was thinking, ‘can I do this, can I really play so often?’ I’ve had knocks and pulled muscles, done my back in, and worse. But I found that it takes perseverance and my body is much more resilient now. It doesn’t mean I can do this for the next twenty years, but for now I’m loving it.”
Gemma – Becoming a Footy Addict
“I wanted to get back into playing, so I bought a ball, and after a few kickabouts with myself in the park I knew I needed something more organised.
“The first game I signed up for was hilarious. Eight of the girls were Italian and were all friends, and the one other English girl there spoke Italian too. So they were all chatting away and I didn’t have a clue what was going on, but it was amazing, I felt so comfortable. With the Women’s games, it’s so inclusive and fun, super competitive, and everyone goes in hard, but it’s a really nice place – if you mess up or miss a shot or a sitter, everyone has a laugh about it. I have actually turned into a bit of a Footy Addict, trying to get three or four games in per week. I just went mad for it when it got started again after lockdown.”
Marts – From Olympian to Footy Addict
“I used to be an athlete, doing track and field for Team GB. I just saw people playing in the park, saw the bibs, looked up Footy Addicts online and realised there were games in my area and I jumped straight in. My sport prior to this was athletics, so when I started playing football my touch was terrible, my game was so poor. It’s just good fun. You take your mind off whatever you’re stressing about that day, play an hour of football, get fit, get healthy, hopefully score a few goals or set up a few, win the game, and then get back to real life.”
Michael – Training by day, training by night
“I work as a night train host on the Caledonian Express, London all the way to Scotland. It’s hard working nights, but I’ve got used to it now. When I know I’ve got a day off and I’ve got nothing to think about, I come down and play football – it’s the perfect way to relax. I play all over London with a really diverse group of players. There are people from Europe, South America, all over – people who have come to London to start a new life. Everyone is just playing football to make friends and feel comfortable in a new culture or country.”
Daryl – Producer / Actor / Player
“I play for a Sunday League team but then we stopped having training mid-week and I had to find my own way of playing. So my friend said, ‘go online and check out this thing called Footy Addicts.’ You meet some really cool people. If you come regularly there are people that you’ve built a relationship with by coming on the same day and playing with them, week in, week out, even though you might not know their names. I’m a musician, making indie, hip-hop, electro-type stuff, and an aspiring actor. But football is the perfect way to spend free time.”
Marco – “This is My Game”
“I’m half West Indian, half Italian. My grandmother lived here and I came years ago to study and live with her, and I ended up staying.
“This is my game, every week at the same pitch. The 5-6pm slot on Wednesdays has become basically my life.
“Even my child, my wife, everyone knows that 5-6pm on that day, whatever happens, is free for me to play. When I take holidays, they are after Wednesday and before the next Wednesday – it’s non-negotiable.
“I love hosting the games and allowing others to enjoy themselves too. There are people from everywhere, all different backgrounds. Football is just what brings everybody together. The language is the same all of a sudden.”
Miranda – Tackling the Bad Guys
“I used to play football a lot at university, but I hurt my knee and had to give it up. I started playing netball, but then I hurt my arm, so I went back to football. I never had the confidence to join a team in London because you don’t know anyone and it’s scary. But then I needed a change in my life to get me back out and about, and I went along to a game. Everyone was super nice. It’s only been a year, but it feels like forever. I’m a forensic accountant by day, investigating the bad guys, but football is the perfect release.”
AJ – 147 Games This Year
“I left my university team and found it hard to get back into playing. But since finding Footy Addicts, I think I’ve played over 100 games now…Actually, I just checked the app: 147 games, just in the last year. Naturally, as you start coming more often, you start seeing the same players and it’s nice. You build friendships, and that’s the best part.
“I think I’ve improved a lot as a footballer as well. During the lockdown it was a shame, there was nothing about, and I realised how much I missed it.
“I’ve played eight games in a row this week. I’m a physio, I’ve always been active, and I’ve done physio for a few different teams. Now I’m with the NHS and my work is virtual during COVID, so I’ve got more free time and can play.”
Fancy a game? Check out footyaddicts.com. You won’t regret it.