Salvation Army and Peter Shilton keep eye on the ball in tackling homelessness

England legend Peter Shilton is preparing to sound the starting whistle for tomorrow’s Salvation Army football tournament in Manchester.

The competition will bring together 30 football teams from hostels and outreach programmes for a five-a-side to boost morale, improve mental health and raise awareness. 

The Champions League-winning goalkeeper, who made 125 appearances for the Three Lions, will share his top footballing skills as well as inspiring others through talking about his own experiences in tackling addiction, after sharing in 2020 that had overcome a 45-year chronic gambling addiction.

Nathan Slinn, assistant director of the Homelessness Services Department for The Salvation Army, said: “Sport is an excellent activity to boost both mental and physical health, build on social skills and make friendships. 

“There are often very complex reasons that people find themselves homeless and this tournament reinforces our ethos that our services provide so much more than just a roof; we’re committed to ending the cycle of homelessness– and this is what this event is all about.” 

 This year’s tournament is backed by the Guardiola Sala Foundation, a humanitarian charity set up by Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. 

Scott (named changed for anonymity purposes) will be competing in the tournament after spending the last three months at a Salvation Army hostel following the breakdown of his relationship with his partner. 

He said: “The weekly training has already boosted my mental and physical health and I feel like I’m a new person, I feel like a good person. I just want my son to be proud of me, plus it will be great to put my skills to the test and enjoy a kickabout with him after the match!”

The Salvation Army is one of the largest homelessness charities operating in the UK, providing more than 3000 places for people in hostels.

If you would like to make a donation to the Salvation Army you can follow this link

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