Thank God for Football! (2013)

The FA’s Christian roots in ‘Thank God for Football!’ (2013)

A strong Christian and avid researcher, Peter Lupson published his book Thank God for Football! in 2006. A few years later, he ran into an executive of the Christian Television Association. That heaven-sent meeting resulted in a documentary of the 12 past and present EPL teams that were founded by churches.

Back in 1870-1890, churches started these teams as activities for their boys and mens clubs for reasons such as:

  • Conduct a mission for the poor
  • Keep men away from drink
  • Divert boys away from gang warfare
  • Use sport to develop the Christian character of courage, fair play, unselfishness, and self-control
  • Stay in shape during the cricket off-season
  • The church decision makers were sportsmen

The club gets a dedicated DVD chapter. They include: Aston Villa, Barnsley, Birmingham City, Bolton Wanderers, Everton, Fulham, Manchester City, QPR, Southampton, Swindon Town, and Tottenham.

Interesting facts

  • Aston Villa initiated paying players for expenses and lost wages at their regular jobs. They soon realized that in order to meet payroll, they needed consistent gate revenues, so they developed a regular fixture schedule, which became the Football League.
  • Everton actually developed the field at Anfield but were expelled for non-payment of rent. They then developed Goodison Park, but their former executive started a competing team called Liverpool at the old field.

While the facts are interesting, the DVD gets a bit repetitive from one chapter to the next. It could be a lot shorter than 157 mins if not done as a TV series.

5 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 5