I’m not a great football fan, but am always glad when England wins! I kept hearing about this song “The Three Lions on my Shirt “English fans were singing, so I looked up the words and there was a reference to Jules Remit. Everyone may know about him but me ,but I’m going to share anyway .

He was a Frenchman -a lawyer who founded a sports club in Paris in the late 1890s. He encouraged football to be a place where there was no discrimination of class. I’m not sure which class played it then, but of course football with only the need for something to kick about -preferably a ball, and markers for goals, can be played by anybody, but not necessarily in an organised club or affiliated to other clubs

 He encouraged associations of football clubs, and eventually the founding of FIFA (I found out, the International Federation of Association Football) in 1904.

The first world war interrupted his efforts in Europe -when he became a soldier and won the Croix de Guerre but in 1928 after political complications, the first international game was played in Uruguay. Jules Remit travelled there with the original trophy in his bag, called the Jules Remit Cup. It was not until 1950 that The British Association joined in!

He was awarded the Nobel peace prize for his efforts for the game and died in 1954.

Quite a man.

Despite my lack of enthusiasm for the game. It gives pleasure and purpose to so many, men and women. Despite the huge sums that can be involved, the value of sending football kit via The Olney and Newton link, to boys playing football on the beaches of Sierra Leone, giving them such self- worth, and other such initiatives cannot be underestimated.

So, the mention of his name in this song fans are singing now is well worth celebrating.

[Janet Lawrence]