Hackney Downs has a new football club, and Lionel Messi need not apply.
Open to all ability levels, the ‘Terrible Football’ team started training in the park on 16 October
The club hopes to attract budding footballers, of any age or gender, who might be intimidated by more competitive or talented teams.
Billy Beckett, co-founder, said: “We just wanted to go the park to kick a ball around. Our motto is free, open and inclusive.”
The record attendance for any Terrible Football session is 50 people, yet the Downs team is still looking to boost its numbers.
Billy continued: “For the first six months it was never more than five-a-side, but it’s been two years and we’re up to an average of 20 per session.”
The Downs provide a better playing surface than other locations where the team train. Billy added: “The grass is better on Hackney Downs. The Weavers Field’s pitch [Tower Hamlets] is torn up but Hackney is great.”
The club would like to arrange tournaments and exhibition matches, pitting the Hackney Downs team against the rest.
Lawrence Montgomery, a long-time member, said: “It brings together people that would have had no chance to get together otherwise; it brings together people from different countries – we had one session with 15 nationalities.”
For more information, or to join a session, head to www.meetup.com/Terrible-football-in-London/
Featured Image/Video credit: Ryan Watts