United Glasgow F.C.’s Fantasy 11 19th November, 2014

ultimate-11

Anti-discrimination and financial inclusion are the dual principles of United Glasgow Football Club. They’ve already worked with hundreds of young people in Glasgow to realise their ambitions of a true community football club which represents all of Glasgow; regardless of background or financial position. They’ve selected their ultimate starting 11 ahead of the club’s fundraiser this Friday with Oi Polloi, AlbaRoma, The Wakes and Scottish footballing legend Pat Nevin.

Volker Ippig
Goalkeeper for the Radical German football club of St. Pauli in Hamburg during the 80’s and 90’s. Ippig was known for his love of the radical left-wing political ideas and action. Ippig interrupted his career as a player on a few occasions, once to go and work in a kindergarten for disabled children. Now a dockworker in Hamburg, Ippig was quoted as saying, ‘Everything I am, I am because of football. My heart beats left. I cherish social and communal values, and this is still the big asset of St Pauli.’

Lilian Thuram
He has won all there is to win in world football and now a great man off the pitch! Thuram is a staunch supporter of the rights of ethnic groups, using his position to tackle racism and highlight the plight of his country’s ignored minorities. He famously once took 70 homeless immigrants expelled from a squat in Paris to France’s game with Italy as a stand against then President Chirac’s immigration policies. Thuram is a migrant himself – born in Caribbean island Guadelop.

Javier Zanetti
Supporter of the struggles of indigenous peoples of Mexico. Zanetti wrote of the radical Zapatista Movement in Mexico; ‘We believe in a better world, in an unglobalised world, enriched by the cultural differences and customs of all the people. This is why we want to support you in this struggle to maintain your roots and fight for your ideals.’ What a guy!

Paul McGrath
Ex Manchester United and Ireland Star supported the Vita Cortex workers in Ireland who occupied their workplace in protest to unpaid redundancy. McGrath visited the factory and urged workers all over Ireland to support them. McGrath is also an active anti-rascism campaigner.

Fabrice Muamba
Fabrice Muamba was a professional footballer at BoltonWanderers and is one of England’s most capped players at Under-21 level. He came to the UK in 1999 as a refugee, aged 11, from war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Suffered a heart attack during a game and was forced to retire early. He spoke no English when he arrived in the UK, he made all his friends playing football.

Pirlo
Probably one of the greatest and an incredibly good looking lad. Pirlo wrote in his autobiography on racists ” They’re a truly horrendous bunch, a herd of frustrated individuals who’ve taken the worst of history and made it their own”.

Casey Stoney
Former England captain and capped 117 times by her nation. Stoney came out as gay in 2012. She is the most high-profile active gay footballer in the UK and an inspiration to a generation of footballers who want to be accepted for who they are.

Fara Williams
England’s most capped player ever with 136 caps. Williams was homelss for 7 years. Trains homeless girls now in her spare time,’ Football never allowed me to (give up hope). I had that focus and belief I was good at something. That’s an incredible thing when it feels like you’ve got nothing else.”

Islam Feruz
Scotland Youth International. Moved from Celtic to Chelsea and currently on loan in Greece. Born in Somalia in 1995, he arrived in Glasgow with his family as a refugee aged 6. They were fleeing the
conflict in Somalia, in which two of his grandparents had been killed. Two quick feet and lightening pace make this guys really quite difficult to play against!

Shefki Kuqi
The big target man famous for his flying celebration has played for numerous clubs in the UK including Newcastle and Blackburn. Kuqi is a Kosovan Albanian who grew up in Kosovo when it was part of the former Yugoslavia. When he was 12, his family moved to Finland to escape the conflict between Serbs and Kosovans, ‘When you have been through what my family has been through, nothing in football gets you down”.

Lucarelli
The Italian target man took 50% pay cut in order to play for his home town Left wing club of Livorno. To make his dream move happen Lucarelli did something almost unheard of in modern professional football, ‘some players buy themselves a Ferrari, or a yacht, for a billion lira. I bought myself a Livorno shirt.’ Big respect!

Brain Clough
The legendary Nottingham Forest manager was a red off the pitch as well as on it. A committed socialist, Old Big ‘Ead could often be found campaigning on picket lines during the miners’ strike, and donated large sums of money to trade union causes. He also signed the founding charter of the Anti Nazi League.