By Community Reporter Rebeca Castineira Berdasco
Known as “the football man” – Antony Morrison deserves his nickname after more than five years coaching the under 12 team at Broadwalk FC club every Saturday as a volunteer.
But Antony’s contribution to society goes much further. He also tries to help the youngsters with problems at school or home – and parents and teachers often ask him for advice.
Antony explains: “I want to help children to avoid the mistakes I made when I was younger. I want to take them off the street.”
After a few years involved with drugs and losing some of his best friends, he decided it wasn’t the life he wanted for himself – nor is it the life he wants for the young people.
So he met his partner and became a ‘family man’ – they now have four children. He recognises that when he started to work as a volunteer he didn’t expect such success.
Now his life has changed a lot. Although he only coaches on Saturdays, he’s always available to answer a phone call, visit a child or talk to a parent 24 hours a day.
His partner Emma is very understanding as ‘she knows it means so much to me.’ His relationship with his parents has also improved since becoming a volunteer. “They are proud of me,” he says happily.
But doing all of this for free? He doesn’t hesitate – the personal satisfaction he gets coaching the team is ‘more than enough’.