FOOTBALLERS have spoken of their devotion to their faith and how it affects their performance on the pitch.
Cherries players Marc Pugh and Junior Stanislas talked all things Christian at a special event at the Vitality Stadium last night.
Club chaplain Andy Rimmer hosted More than a Game – an evening of darts, pies and a bit of banter.
“I’m available to support the players, families and staff, Christian or non-Christian, in different ways,” he said.
“Sometimes I work with the players when they’re in a bad place or injured. I’m there to be an encouragement, and it’s great to be in the world of football where you wouldn’t imagine God to be, to be able to bring some perspective. I love it, it’s great fun.”
AFC Bournemouth midfielder, Mark Pugh, said: “Since I met my wife I spend an awful lot of time praying. I’m so blessed, I’ve got a great life and I owe it all to God, He’s a big part of my life.
“A lot of people put their job, money, cars, before the most important things which are family and God. I believe God’s got my life mapped out, and I’m excited to see what that brings. God will always look after you and love you.”
Midfielder Junior Stanislas spoke about how God has particularly influenced his life this past year.
“I think you probably need God the most when something goes wrong for you; last year it went downhill for me,” he said. “I didn’t play a lot, and I was struggling with trying to deal with that.
“I asked God to come with me through this tough time. I read some passages in the Bible that said God has this plan for you and you just have to wait on His time to deliver it.
“I can’t say I was always patient in that, but now things are starting to even themselves out.”
With Bournemouth set to play Portsmouth this weekend in the FA cup, there was some friendly rivalry when ex-Portsmouth player, Linvoy Primus, joined the stage to talk about when he first became a Christian.
He said: “I was in a place where I felt I had everything but still felt so empty. With my wife not being well, it was a case of, ‘where to do we look to now?’.”
“Football used to be my God, but I put God in His rightful place, before football.”
Listen to a clip from the evening, with Andy Rimmer introducing the players.