Thousands of elementary, high school and college kids play competitive soccer in the U.S. and the sport continues to gain in popularity here on the professional level. In the UK and the rest of Europe "football" is wildly popular but did you know that many of the the English Premiere League teams have roots in the church? Get the scoop on the hidden history of the game and Thank God for Football! (er... umm...Soccer!)
Alternate formats: Digital Video - $2.99
Explore the Christian heritage of the English Premier League.
Did you know that nearly a third of the clubs that have played in the English FA Premier League owe their existence to a church? Today very little is known about their pioneering founders. Football historian Peter Lupson sets the record straight as he tells the story of twelve of these clubs and the people who have made an exceptional contribution to the beautiful game. In this 11-part documentary series he takes us to the places where the clubs began over a century ago, and also visits the stadiums they occupy today. Thank God for Football! presents the challenging and uplifting stories of some remarkable individuals who were moved to show God’s love for those rejected by society.
Whether you're a Mann City supporter or a fan of the LA Galaxy or just a general sports fan, you'll love this inside look at the game. Widescreen.
The eleven clubs covered:
• Aston Villa
• Birmingham City
• Bolton Wanderers
• Everton & Liverpool
• Manchester City
• Queens Park Rangers
• Swindon Town
• Tottenham Hotspur
This is the film of the book of the same name by Peter Lupson, who fronts this documentary. Anyone interested in "the beautiful game" will find some real nuggets here as Football historian, Lupson, explores the links between many of the founding clubs of English soccer and the church. A number of clergy were responsible for bringing into being some of the biggest clubs in the game today. Lupson looks at Aston Villa, Barnsley, Birmingham City, Bolton Wanderers, Everton, Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Queens Park Rangers, Southampton, Swindon Town, and Tottenham Hotspur. Discover why Everton and Liverpool are in essence one club, the link between Wilberforce and Southampton and the Christian influence on the establishment of the original Football league. This is an 11-part documentary and demands some stamina being one hour longer than a standard football match. I also got a bit weary of repeatedly hearing the Cup Final hymn "Abide With Me." That apart it was interesting and informative.
An interesting football-and-faith documentary, Thank God For Football! chronicles the birth of soccer in the U.K., while also focusing on the Christian organizations that embraced—and helped develop—the game during its early years. Historian Peter Lupson tells the stories of 12 clubs in exhaustive detail with highlight footage sure to thrill aficionados. For example, viewers will learn about the origins of the Aston Villa club—one of the most winning teams—which started with Bible students at a Wesleyan chapel, who first played together on a cricket team (four of them were intrigued by a new thing called "association football" and decided to give it a go). Presented alongside the sports history but accounting for much less of the running time is a message about the importance of Christian faith, values, and worship to players and officials alike. Host and narrator Lupson appears on location, backed by archival footage, photographs, and drawings, as well as dramatic re-enactments. The chapters here can be played in their entirety, or accessed individually by the clubs, which include: Barnsley, Everton, Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Southampton, Swindon Town, and Tottenham Hotspur. Recommended.
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