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09 October 2013

Peter Shilton supports homeless football

Peter Shilton supports homeless football

by Amanda Pilz

Most capped England player to run penalty shootout masterclass and present trophies to homeless men and women at the annual Partnership Trophy run by the Salvation Army..

Hundreds of people from The Salvation Army's homeless centres will come together next Thursday 10 October for a five-a-side football tournament at Lucozade Powerleague Stadium, Birmingham.

At this year's Partnership Trophy Peter Shilton OBE, the most capped England Player of all time, will present the trophies to the winning team as well as running a penalty shootout master class in the afternoon. He will also offer guidance and support to the teams taking part and share his story, giving a brief overview of his career.

This year up to 40 teams will take part. Each year homeless men and women from across the country from a far afield as Scotland, Ireland and Southampton gather for the tournament. Participants live in Salvation Army Lifehouses or other supported housing units run by The Salvation Army Housing Association.

The former England player represented his country 125 times and during his playing career received an MBE and OBE for services to football. Following his retirement from international football he was awarded the prestigious Order of Merit by the Professional Footballers' Association.

Peter Shilton OBE, said: "The Salvation Army's Lifehouses are incredibly inspiring places and as a former international footballer it's great to see the Army is using football to help develop people's confidence and life skills. I am very much looking forward to being part of the day and seeing how the homeless men and women are given a sense of purpose and integration with others through the tournament."

Last year a team from Booth House in Whitechapel, London won the trophy. The winners then took to the field in a charity football game against 11 MPs and parliamentary staff in June. The match aimed to raise awareness of the issues of homelessness and to celebrate the achievements of the winning team.

Anthony Tate, 28, was one of those who competed in last year's Partnership Trophy. He also played in the football match against a group of MPs. Anthony was staying on people's sofas before he was given a place at Booth House in London.

He said: "It was hard just sleeping on people's sofas. I wanted to get a flat of my own, and the staff at the Lifehouse helped me to do this. I am really grateful to them. It was brilliant to play in the Partnership Trophy – it was such a good day."

Mitch Menagh, The Salvation Army's territorial director of Homelessness Services, said: "We put on the tournament each year because it gives the homeless men and women at our centres a great sense of achievement, purpose and self-confidence. It is also great because they can learn to work in a team and it creates a sense of community.

"We care about the whole person and we believe that this sort of event can really help to build confidence and important life skills. It's a really enjoyable day and a highlight for many.

"All of our Lifehouses offer a range of support to help break the cycle of homelessness. We do this by offering a compassionate, listening ear, education, training, volunteering, employment skills and much more."