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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Housing Rights #DareToDream – then lose – at Homeless World Cup launch

Yesterday, Housing Rights took part in a football tournament to mark the Northern Ireland team's send-off to the 2016 Homeless World Cup. Eight players will travel to Glasgow for the cup, kicking off their campaign with a match against the Netherlands on 10 July. Housing Rights wishes the team the best of luck.

This is Stephen “Crouch” Orme's report of the Housing Rights team, who didn’t quite set the pitch alight at yesterdays tournament.

The Housing Rights team was captained by Head of Operations Jim “Chopper” O’Callaghan, who led with the “drive” of a Roy Keane or a Billy Bremner. The rest of the team consisted of:

  • “Ooh aah” Chris McGrath, Solicitor & wing-back: Chris spent most of the day running decoy lines like a Duracell bunny.
  • Mark “David Batty” Eakin, Finance Officer & central midfielder: An honest tryer, but, sadly, unlikely to set the game alight.
  • Stephen “Crouch” Orme, Policy Officer & normally goalkeeper: Tall, but largely useless – thus basically Peter Crouch. There mainly because he was available on the day
  • Odhran O’Callaghan, Jim’s son, and the only player with any level of natural aerobic fitness.

At 2pm on a Wednesday, this under-prepared collection of misfits set out for glory on the hallowed turf of the Stormont Pavilion football pitches.

Group Game 1 vs. Playball FC

The day kicked off with a 4-1 loss which heralded things to come. Playball FC had a team including former Ards FC captain Darren Nixon. Housing Rights were played off the tiny pitch, and Stephen hurt his wrist.

Group Game 2 vs. NI Homeless World Cup Team 1

Another loss. Not quite as bad, surprisingly – only 2-1 this time.

Group Game 3 vs. City Stars

Without a doubt, the highlight of the day. Stephen sat this one out, spending most of the game standing uncomfortably close to former Ards FC captain Darren Nixon and saying “My Dad will be so jealous that I played against you!”

Meanwhile on the pitch, Mark commanded the midfield, Chris worked the flanks, Odhran speared a moderately functional attack and Jim made several heroic saves. A 1-1 draw was celebrated like victory at the gates of Mordor.

Quarter Final vs. NI Homeless World Cup Team 2

It’s not entirely clear how Housing Rights actually did anything to qualify for a quarter-final.

We promised so much, but ultimately delivered nothing. The game started brightly, with Housing Rights commanding the midfield and creating chances galore: but we conceded a goal and lost 1-0.

Housing Rights’ Football Tournament & Family Fun Day

If you fancy your chances against sporting heroes such as these, come along to our a 6-a-side football tournament and family fun day at Girdwood Community Hub 3G pitches on Saturday 30th July. All funds raised will help us to achieve our vision of a place where everyone has a home.  

To enter a team, you can book online or contact Frances. Alternatively if watching or playing football isn’t your thing, you can come along to our face-painting, BBQ and food & drink stalls to keep all ages entertained.


Stephen Orme