Having a kick about is one of life’s simple pleasures. Just grab a ball, your boots, some mates and you’re good to go, right? That is until the inevitable excuses pop up on WhatsApp with an hour to go and suddenly you’re scrambling for a ringer to keep your so-called ‘weekly’ five-a-side match alive.
Another night is followed by the usual “Sorry, maybe next week” message and you’re left wondering why getting a footy game going with few friends isn’t as easy as it was when you were younger. If only there was an app for that…
For those in the know, there is one name that’s actually helping make sorting a regular five-a-side night or even a quick pick-up game in and around Greater Manchester that little bit easier and more social than ever.
Footy Addicts, the football-based social networking platform, are on a mission to make the beautiful game easier and more inclusive across the region and the UK at large.
The app, founded by self-proclaimed footy addicts Konstantinos Gkortsilas, Danny Taeidy and Jonathan Suarez, aims to make quality football matches — be it a straight-forward five/seven-a-side game or a bigger affair — happen across Great Britain and, if they carry on how they’re going, the world.
When you sit and think about it, it’s one of these ideas where you wonder, ‘How hasn’t this been thought of before?’ From the first unofficial pick-up game back in 2010 to what has now grown to a community of over 210,000 users across 140 active locations, the proof is in the pudding.
Not only is the demand obviously there but it just goes to show how important opportunity and accessibility are when it comes to playing the game so many of us love.
Footy Addicts’ biggest goal is ensuring that wherever you are, you’ll only be a button away from a game — and the stats don’t lie. Now growing by a rate of more than 5,000 new users each month with players from over 200 different countries, it just goes to show how a simple kickabout can help enrich diverse communities a game at a time.
Whether you are a first-timer, Sunday league Messi or ‘could’ve gone pro if it wasn’t for my knee’, there’s a spot on the team sheet for all abilities.
Just to highlight some of the regulars in the Manchester scene, this could be your squad lining up alongside you next time you stick a bib on under the lights: lifelong Burnley supporter James is still going strong at 70 and nutmegging students. You can’t drag him away from the pitch.
Marc used to ply his trade in the Premier League but now gets his football fix in a more casual setting and Nadia is a semi-pro female footballer who’ll happily show up the best of them.
The importance of running around after a ball for an hour or so is far more than the scoreline; it’s like therapy for the mind and body. The escapism, confidence and community that blossoms when you step on a pitch is what keeps the world hooked on the beautiful game. And, that’s not to mention the obvious physical benefits.
Footy Addicts are also brilliant at spotlighting the sporting stories that mean so much to local communities — including here in Manchester.
Available to download from the Google Play and Apple App Store, or by simply using their website, it’s not quite as easy as clicking your fingers but it’s close enough.
It goes without saying that Footy Addicts organise games all over Manchester. Just whack in your postcode and see if there is a place and time that suits you. It’s also pay-as-you-play, with no monthly subscriptions or signing-on fees, just dust off your boots and head down.
Prices start at only £3.50 a game with the average price of around a fiver, which in this day and age is great value for footy.
See you on a pitch in Greater Manchester sometime soon.
There are literally tonnes of Footy Addicts games taking place around Greater Manchester every week.
Man United striker Rasmus Højlund set to miss Manchester derby as muscle injury rules him out for ‘two to three weeks’
Man United have suffered a pretty big short-term blow as their in-form forward Rasmus Højlund has been diagnosed with a muscle injury which is set to see him out for “two to three weeks”, meaning he will likely miss the upcoming Manchester derby.
The Danish striker has been running red-hot of late, scoring seven in his last six league games for Man United and now sitting as the club’s top marksman with 13 goals and two assists across all competitions, but just as Erik ten Hag’s side look to have got going, they will now be without him for a spell.
Issuing an update on Friday, 23 February, United confirmed that a muscle injury is “expected to rule him out for two to three weeks”, meaning he will miss this weekend’s fixture against Fulham, the FA Cup fifth round against Nottingham Forest and most likely the Manchester derby.
The Red Devils are currently unbeaten in 2024 and on a run of six wins out of their last seven, with Højlund making the difference in many of them.
ℹ️ Rasmus Hojlund has suffered a muscle injury which is expected to rule him out for two to three weeks.
He could potentially be back for the home game against Everton on 9 March.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s game at Old Trafford, ten Hag went on to explain: “It is a small injury. That is what happens and the risk [when you are] playing at high intensity and training.”
The Dutchman reiterated, “As I say it is not a big injury, but he has to wait for one, two, three weeks”, though Reds will nevertheless be gutted to see the 21-year-old sidelined after having now started finding the net and putting together such an impressive run of performances.
While he emphasised that it is not a “big injury”, the timing couldn’t be more frustrating for a team that looks to be finally gathering some momentum, not only in and around the European places already but right on the trail of those chasing down the Champions League spots.
Højlund’s injury only adds to the club’s ever-growing list of players on the physio’s bench, including Tyrell Malacia, Mason Mount, Lisandro Martinez and another huge setback in Luke Shaw’s long-term hamstring problems.
In contrast, Manchester City have been lofted by comebacks from both Erling Haaland, who is getting back on the scoresheet once again, and midfielder maestro Kevin De Bruyne as they look to step up the pressure on league leaders Liverpool.
The treble-winners were always going to be putting in a very strong title defence but the return of KDB has reminded football fans just exactly how good he is. The Belgian was left on the bench against Brentford due to “minor niggles” but you can fully expect him to be raring to go come derby day.
Stockport County create a new community mural with young street artists in Edgeley
Stockport County is creating a brand new mural with a group of young street artists from the local area and a little help from one of their squad members.
This past February half-term, the Greater Manchester football club enlisted the help of some schoolkids and aspiring artists, along with local creatives from around the area to create a brand new piece of artwork right in the heart of the community.
With some paint, plenty of spray cans and the expertise of Manc muralist and designer, Oskar With A K, and poet Ruth Awolola, a dozen local secondary school pupils helped write, design and paint the mural — taking inspiration directly from the club and the thriving fan culture in Stockport.
There is no chant more iconic and important to the Hatters than their famous ‘The Scarf My Father Worse’ song and that’s exactly what the local artists have decided to immortalise.
🖼️ A new County-themed mural is currently being created in Edgeley by a talented group of young street artists – with a little help from Ethan Pye!
The new Stockport County mural is being completed as we speak.
The painting process began on Friday, 16 February and, as you can see, they even managed to rope in County defender Ethan Pye came along to lend a hand with the mural, armed with a can of spray paint to help the young people bring their ideas to life.
Being developed by the Stockport County Community Trust in collaboration with North West organisations, GRIT Studios and The Writing Squad, ‘The Scarf My Father Wore’ project has received £14,800 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
Popping in a prime location on the corner of Castle Street and Mercian Way — just metres away from the Edgeley Park stadium and right at the beginning of the local village high street — this vibrant work of art will be passed by thousands of commuters and pedestrians every day.
Being brought to life in brilliant blue and white in line with the club’s colour scheme and proudly printing the title of the famous chant on the wall along with stencils of the County crest, footballs and many other details, it sits pride of place in the Stockport suburb.
Ethan offering his services off the pitch too.You can’t miss it.Credit: Supplied
Much like the historic chant and the symbolic scarf itself, this brilliant piece of street art will be passed down and enjoyed by generations to come, as well as make sure the club continues to play a key role in local culture.
County’s Community Trust CEO Alison Warwood said: “This project shows how art and writing by young people can make a real difference to the local community, and I can’t wait to see the end result.”
John Macaulay from GRIT Studios added: “We’re thrilled to be involved in such a collaborative and community-spirited initiative. Our young artists will be helping to create a lasting landmark that will become a focal point in Edgeley for years to come.”
With the Hatters currently top of the League Two table and looking at yet another promotion season, there feels like no better time for fans to wear the club on their sleeve, their scarves around their necks and now up on the wall too.