Letter to a Sister – Football Quiz

We organised a Football Quiz. Not really my kind of event, but apparently there are several people who enjoy football, so we hoped some ‘non church’ people might come and realise that we’re not too scary after all. (I was going to write “not too odd”, but I thought that might be stretching things a bit!)

So, we asked our friend who is a professional footballer if he would come (do you say ‘plays’ football if someone does it professionally? Not sure, feels like wrong verb) We persuaded brother he would like to make up some questions and got some fliers printed up. We held it in the church hall, people registered their teams online in advance and brought their own snacks and drinks. We didn’t charge, but there were collecting tubs for donations to Tearfund.

It was a good event. This was partly because brother did an actually rather brilliant quiz and partly because it seems quite a few people are rather keen to meet footballer friend (Julian Speroni, who plays in goal for Crystal Palace FC.) Husband was on hand to sort logistics, Minister did the introducing and interviewing Julian bit and I dutifully hovered to help where needed. (I wouldn’t exactly say that football is possibly the most boring game ever – but I did take a book to read….)

When we arrived at church, it had been repainted and all the internal signs had been removed. Might have caused confusion toilet wise. We have three toilets at our church, with a middle one for people wanting to change babies’ nappies or needing disabled supports. I therefore made three signs. Decided to label them ‘Ladies’, Gents’ and ‘Undecided’. Was slightly worried I might forget to move them before the service on Sunday (some church members don’t always get my humour) but it was fine.

Mum had advertised the event for us, and some of her friends made a team. They recognised me and asked which person was brother. I pointed to Julian (he’s better looking than brother, thought it might improve our general family impression.) They just looked confused, so I think they knew I was lying.

After the quiz, Julian was interviewed, then fielded questions from the audience (about his salary, place on the team and retirement plans. People didn’t hold back! ) His talk was good (didn’t read my book for that bit.) He talked about training in Argentina and sending a video of his playing to other teams. He was offered a place in Dundee, so moved over. He said that learning English was a challenge, with a Scottish teacher, and Italian and Chinese fellow students to practise conversation with!

He also talked about how he attended an Alpha course, how he realised that God is real and has a plan for his life. Even professional footballers need God.

I guess that’s the whole point really. To me, Julian is ‘just a bloke’, it seems very strange that people would want his autograph or to shake his hand. God sees past all that, he knows that Julian is ‘just a bloke’ too, one that he loves and wants to help and give direction for his life. Just like us, we are ‘just people’ too, underneath all our make-up and talents and insecurities. We need God too.

The quiz had a winning team. They won a football shirt, signed by all the players. Never mind, if they wash it on a hot wash it will probably come clean again.

Have a good week,
Take care,
Love, Anne x


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