OUR activities at the Salvation Army in Lake Road and our linked Haven Community Centre have many varied events that are often rather exciting.
In an evening for our series of Outreach in the Community, we were incredibly fortunate to be joined by a very special guest.
We were delighted to welcome Christian footballer Linvoy Primus to be our speaker for the evening.
So many of us remember him as a great ambassador for the Christian faith and for Portsmouth Football Club.
With the slight hint of football many of us came wearing shirts representing the clubs we support.
It was no surprise that the prominent shirt was Portsmouth FC but there were also representatives of Southampton, Cardiff , Barcelona, Bournemouth, Arsenal, and Brighton.
David Coates nearly wore his Sunderland shirt, but decided against it (and rightly so).
Linvoy spoke to us about his time in football showing us a short video, and giving us an insight into the world of football and its many personalities and difficulties.
After our first session we had an opportunity to socialise and enjoy Kevin’s curry, which was absolutely delicious.
Linvoy went on to talk of his transformation into the Christian faith and how it changed his life, the life of his family and his whole perception of the Beautiful Game.
Interestingly enough, Transformed was also the title of his autobiography, which he released back in 2007.
Although he retired in 2009, Linvoy is now well-known for his Christian charity work – he does a lot for the Faith & Football charity, walked the Great Wall of China and also helped to form a prayer group in the city.
Truly a great role model not only for young people, but by us older folk who can also learn a thing or two from his work.
With a total of 16 goals in just under 500 games throughout his professional footballing career – a pretty impressive tally for a defender – and with a stand renamed after him, the impact he had on Portsmouth Football Club is clear for all to see.
Obviously he is revered by locals for his service to the club, but those who know him also praise him for his substantial contributions to the Christian faith.
He reminded us at the end of the quote from the scout who discovered George Best: ‘I think I have found you a genius but Jesus is still the best discovery you can make.’