The media is flooded with sport, particularly in this Olympic year; with perhaps the most popular of these reports involving football. But the Beautiful Game is not the only cause for these sportsmen to feature in our papers. Affairs, super-injunctions and extortionate salaries have cast a shadow over football. But is this starting to change?
The Pray 4 Muamba campaign swept across the country, with both those on and off the pitch urging fans to unite in faith for the recovery of the seriously ill Bolton Wanderers player; the work of Lord Mawhinney in the Football League set about instilling ethical practice back into the game, and the announcement of various players of finding Christianity has hit the headlines.
One of the most dramatic stories of these centres on Linvoy Primus, the former Premier League player.
The father of three, who admits he set out to make as much money as possible, has seen his life changed after moving to Portsmouth Football Club, where he and his wife felt very alone, until some Christian friends invited the couple to church…
You were well known in the game for your faith, have you always been a Christian?
No, I became a Christian in 2001 after being invited to church and hearing what Jesus had done for me.
How did your teammates react to your faith?
They laughed and gave me stick (typical football banter) when I first announced my faith, but over the course of the year their attitudes changed towards my faith and they began asking me to pray for situations in their lives.
Churches started many football teams in today’s leagues; do you think God still has a place in the game today?
Oh YES, God has a place in today’s game he will use the industry to bring glory to his name.
Do you think our society’s obsession with football is positive or negative?
I think it is both; it is positive if a good role model is produced and brings a sense of community to places, but it’s negative if the game and people are worshipped even if they do bad things.
What do you plan to do now you’ve left the game?
Following my departure from the game and seeking the Lord to know his will for my life, I have decided to travel around the world sharing my testimony and preaching the good news of Jesus to encourage others in their relationship with him. As well as continuing my work within the charity that I helped set up – Faith &Football.
What will you miss most about football?
The day-to-day training with the lads and their banter and the big games.
What are your hopes for the future?
My hope is that every person I meet hears the Gospel and receives Jesus as their Saviour – I like to dream big because where my dream finishes God starts.
Linvoy is now travelling the country to share his inspirational story of his life in football and his transformation to Christianity. For more details, testimonials and bookings, visit www.linvoyprimus.com