Marceltipool – A labour of love

by admin

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

Setting up football teams is tough. If one has knowledge of the amateur game and a pool of former teammates and friends happy to come along for the ride then it helps. I don’t. I haven’t played Sunday league football in a few years and never in London. As for my friends, they tend to either enjoy playing World of Warcraft or with their hair or other areas of their anatomy.

So I had to open up Marceltipool to the internet. If you don’t already know (where have you been?) Marceltipool is a club for London-based fans of Olympique de Marseille, Celtic and Liverpool. What I mean by that is – and I don’t wish to patronise but I’ve been amazed by the amount of people who have ruled themselves out due to misunderstanding – the club is for anyone who follows l’OM or Celtic or Liverpool. You. Don’t. Have. To. Support. All. Three. Yes, lots of Liverpool fans have a soft spot for Celtic and vice versa and the city of Marseille has a sizeable Celtic following but for all I care someone could hold Celtic, Manchester United (urgh!) and Paris St Germain (urgh!) in their hearts and they’d still qualify.

So, with the ongoing and invaluable assistance of ukff, gradually the interest has been increasing. Local league entry for 2009/10 may or may not be beyond us but progress was being made. Then something happened that caused me to ratchet up my endeavours.

LFC London, the capital’s wing of the Liverpool Supporters Group, arranged a Hillsborough Memorial Day for last Sunday (26/4/09) which included a football match in Islington to raise funds for the Hillsborough Memorial Fund. As soon as I came across the facebook event I was determined to get Marceltipool involved and began contacting all those who had expressed an interest in playing for the club. Liverpool played against Celtic in Glasgow in their first match after the disaster and I thought it apt for us to figure in this occasion.

So the responses came. Those I had turned away for being Arsenal fans were, understandably, not necessarily keen to pass on the call to “eligible” parties but somehow the message was getting out. Primarily, and not surprisingly, it was Reds that got in contact including – fascinatingly – those of the French and Colombian variety. Soon, as the numbers built up, we seemed on course for a last minute midweek training session at Vicky Park.

Alas, I got ahead of myself. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the four firm confirmations we eventually got for training last Wednesday, whilst very welcome, did not constitute a team. Therefore, on Sunday I was the sole representative of Marceltipool but a great time was had by all (despite my side losing the match 11-2) and a wonderful day raised a significant amount of money for a good cause.

At the match, fate even appeared to have dealt Marceltipool a generous hand made for London bus comparisons when I spotted a team warming up for another match all in l’OM away kits. However, my club still has no potential Marseillais players because, as things transpired, the pidgin French I was preparing as I approached one of the group was not necessary and the attire was simply “cheap off a website” and “it was that or Schalke”. A shame.

If I didn’t know before, I now know that there’s a lot of work, and possibly disappointments, to come. But my determination will not waver. I’m now Tweeting people (me neither) to keep them updated of our next moves and the mailing list gets longer and longer. One day soon there’ll be a training session and one day there’ll be the first Marceltipool match.

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