It’s not only about football …

Sam Kershaw speaks to Footy Addicts members about the universal language of football and how the app is so much more than just finding a game. The social impact of football as experienced by Footy Addicts’ members.

Social impact of football - People playing
Photo by Scott Kershaw

For those that are invested in playing football, we all know that it’s so much more than just that hour on the pitch. It’s the anticipation of playing, the ritual of getting ready, friendships, camaraderie, community spirit and the funny anecdotes that you take home with you. The mutual respect of the young whippersnapper battling it out with the wiley old pro in his mid-50s. A beautiful rapport within the beautiful game. 

Bar Manager, Freddie hails from Argentina and plays all over London. He loves the inclusive nature of Footy Addicts, “you can play with people from literally all over the world. If someone said to me, “I’m from Mars”, I wouldn’t be surprised.” He goes on to talk about how Footy Addicts democratises the playing field in terms of a shared passion. “I’m from another country, I speak another language, I’m from a different culture and I have a different mentality but on the field, I am the same as everyone else. We all love the same world.” And it’s that the common ground, no matter who you are or where you are from, that Footy Addicts can give you. 

It also goes beyond the 60 minutes on the grass, 3g, astroturf (delete as appropriate) for Freddie. “It’s not only about football…(before you know it) you are invited to a party or to go for a drink. I’ve made lots of very good friends through Footy Addicts.

You have people who are a bit too competitive and those who are not competitive enough.” states half West Indian, half Italian Footy Addict, Marco. Perfectly encapsulating the dynamic between the person who is there for the crack and a run-around alongside the person that feels the need to win at all costs. Despite the difference in people’s competitive nature, there will always be a handshake and a pat on the back between them at the end. Marco speaks passionately about how “there are people from everywhere, from different backgrounds and different countries but everyone speaks the same language”, on a football pitch.

Photographer, Gemma has turned into a Footy Addict in the most literal sense, playing up to four different games a week. She is a huge fan of the collective consciousness in her games and how they have been the perfect platform to build up her confidence. “The ladies game is so inclusive and fun but it’s also super competitive. If you miss a sitter or mess up, everyone has a laugh about it. It’s a nice atmosphere and has really helped me grow.

The regular pool of 40 players across Gemma’s games, has seen bonds develop and positive relationships form. “You end up seeing the same faces, which resulted in us organising other games and socials.” An international variety is definitely the spice of life in her weekly matches, “we have Italians and French, a group of American girls recently who were visiting the UK. There is also a Romanian girl who is an amazing striker and a girl who recently moved to London from Newcastle. There are so many different nationalities, but everyone is just there for the love of football.” 

👉 Also read, how Footy Addicts is creating more opportunities for women players to play the game

Scottish poker player and Motherwell F.C. fan, Gary, moved to London and didn’t know a soul. In search of friends and a game, somebody suggested Footy Addicts to him. “I didn’t know anyone, but everyone was so welcoming. It was competitive but friendly too.” Gary’s day to day profession is all about flying solo and “a completely opposite world” to kicking a ball around with a bunch of strangers. However, “there is a universal language of football – time, pass, man on” according to Gary, that means that nobody is really a stranger five minutes after kick off.    

People enjoying football via Footy Addicts games
Photo by Scott Kershaw

Whether you are a photographer or a poker player, bar manager or barrister, Footy Addicts is uniting people’s common love of the greatest game on earth across the UK. Helping communities feel a sense of togetherness and creating friendships along the way. 

Do you have a community story you would like to share with Footy Addicts? We are looking to explore the following topics: 

  • Inclusivity regardless of sex, age, ability, religion and ethnicity
  • Improving your mental and physical health in these challenging times 
  • The social and community impact football has on your life – meeting new people and creating new relationships

Get in touch to share your stories at You can also follow Footy Addicts on Facebook and Instagram and find games all over the UK via our website

Why not share our story with your colleagues, friends and fellow addicts, who are not already on the teamsheet.