Filipe and his "Portugal" team
As a way of bringing everyone in the community together and bring back the sense of joy and laughter to football again we organised a football match for our final afternoon in Mirasorai. We wanted to honour all the boys who died that fateful afternoon in July, all returning home excited and celebrating after winning a football match, little knowing a few hours later life would change forever.
The local children decided they liked the idea of having England play Portugal in our honourary football match. Mark being captain of England and Filipe captain of Portugal. Eleven players soon became fifteen or more on each side as everyone wanted to be involved and join in the fun.
It was a great joy for us to see smiles and hear laughter returning to children who had previously told us they would never play football again as so many friends had been lost to the accident.
The community comes to watch
"Portugal" heading for "England's goal
Where's the ball?
Portugal 1 England 0
It was a great game supported by everyone from the community. We wanted to end our work with this game to bring back a joyful and positive attitude towards football, success and winning, all of which had been badly and sadly tarnished. By ending our work this time with football we hoped that people would then be able to remember the smiling happy faces of their sons, brothers and friends enjoying a game that unites people worldwide, and in that united feeling they would sense the love and support that reached out to them from people around the world.