The camaraderie of grass root football celebrated in a new book!

In a unique and honest book, a Sunday League player-manager has written about the reality of football at the grass roots level. The new book, called Park Life, is a celebration of local football in the Rhondda Valleys and is full of humorous stories and banter, concentrating on the social side of the game.

 

Author Peter Roberts has lived in the Rhondda since his family moved to area when he was four years old. In 2020 he will celebrate 40 consecutive seasons of playing 11-a-side competitive grass roots football.

 

“I still love the game as much now as I did when I started playing aged 7, and want to continue playing for as long as I can,” says Peter, who works at the University of South Wales as a student disability adviser.

 

“I feel that the camaraderie within grass roots football – in the Rhondda and all over the United Kingdom – is amazing, and the difference between it and the professional game is worth highlighting. The professional game has changed so much in recent years.”

 

Every weekend, on football pitches across the country, dedicated sportsmen and women still play real football – the grass roots game: where you have to pay to play, hope a referee turns up, change in a shed, play on a rain-sodden cabbage patch and take your own kit home to wash.

 

The Foreword is written by Nathan Jones, ex-Manager of Stoke City Football Club, whose love of football began on the fields of the Rhondda with the author. Nathan Jones says of that time:

 

“I have found that the cut and thrust of football in the Rhondda gave me a good grounding for the ups and downs of my subsequent career, firstly as a professional player and now as a manager.”

 

Park Life is a celebration of those Sunday League footballers; a million miles away from the pampered prima donnas of the Premier League, but whose defeats are just as painful and whose successes are, for them, every bit as glorious.