More Tea, Vicar?
Last week, I was privileged to be invited to present Club Chaplain, Liam O’Boyle – or ‘Rev’ as he is known around the Club – with his honorary membership of the Official Supporters’ Association. I took the opportunity to ask Liam what kept him busy, apart from being the Club Chaplain.
He told me: “My day job keeps me out of mischief – as do my family! I’m a vicar working for the Church of England in Nottingham city and county where my role is about working with all those tackling the effects of poverty and homelessness across the city and county. I have an active role in a homelessness project called Nottingham Winter Shelter. I’m also a vicar in a local church and at weekends when not at church I double up as a taxi driver for my teenage children. I’m thinking of having a meter put in the car!”
From that I gathered that he didn’t have an awful lot of ‘me’ time so I wondered how Rev filled what little time he did have for himself? His answer explained why he is involved in Notts County: “When I’m not spending time with family and friends, I coach a grass roots football team for Under 14 year olds. Footballs always filled my spare time – whether playing, coaching or watching – there’s never enough time. That’s why I love being the chaplain here at Notts County, where my role is very much about offering friendship, support and encouragement to players and their families, to all staff at the club, former players, directors and supporters alike. As well as on match days, you’ll find me in at the training ground every Friday with the playing staff, and later on back with the stadium staff here at Meadow Lane with a cup of tea and biscuit never far away!”
Rev Liam was instrumental in the 4F Initiative that is taking place at Meadow Lane today, inviting fans to donate their unwanted trainers, trackie bottoms and jeans to the Friary, here in Nottingham, for re-distribution to the homeless. So I asked him to tell us a little more about his contact with the Friary: “I’m really fortunate to work with some great projects like The Friary, who help local homeless and vulnerable adults to rebuild their lives by offering practical and health services, advice and emotional support. Sadly the number of rough sleepers in Nottingham is the highest it’s been for over 20 years so the generosity of the fans donating their unwanted clothing will be greatly appreciated.”
And finally, I couldn’t let Liam go without asking him the burning question which has always intrigued me: Does God support Notts County, Rev? “Of course God supports Notts County!”, he told me without hesitation, “After all, we’re the oldest football league club in the world and God’s been around since the very beginning! And God would have been cheering when our very own Bishop – Neil – memorably scored against the giants of Man City in the FA Cup here at the Lane a few years ago!” So there we have it; let’s hope that He is smiling down on us again this afternoon.
There’s still time to book your ticket for a trip to the museum
There are still a few seats available if you fancy joining us on the coach trip to the FA Football Museum in Manchester on Sunday, the 23rd of October.
Visitors will have three hours to browse around the museum and then, on the way back, we’ll be stopping off at the Knockerdown Inn near Carsington Water for a two-course meal, before returning to Meadow Lane. This whole day trip is just £30. Places can be booked either by calling in on the Official Supporters’ Association office on Meadow Lane office, on match-days, or by contacting the OSA Chairman, John Terrington (email@example.com).
More Tea, Vicar?