"A LOT of football skills can be related to everyday skills for
kids and parents," the former Sunderland footballer, Maurice
Hepworth (right), says. Last month he ran six
weekend-coaching sessions for young people aged 11 and above, at St
George's, Fatfield, Durham. His sessions were
called "Faith in Football".
"I wanted to bring [those skills] to the community," he says,
"such things as humility, teamwork, leadership, and
reputation-management - the things that we want to get right, and
the things that Jesus teaches us. I wanted to bring it alive."
Hepworth himself played for Sunderland's squad in their
cup-winning year of 1973, but just a week before the FA Cup Final
he was kicked in the stomach during a game. For two weeks he was
left fighting for his life with near-fatal internal injuries. He
recovered, but it brought his time with Sunderland to an end.
He moved to South Africa, where he was named Player of the Year
in 1977. A broken leg ended his football career, however, and he
turned successfully to business management. After varied commercial
experience, he now runs the company M. H. Coaching and Leadership,
and says that "faith is the number one thing in my life now".