News Articles


Federatia Romana De Fotbal’s Head of Social Responsibility and Public Policy, Florin Sari, brings years of experience to the proposed first ever Peace Field Project Peace Pitch to Bucherest, Romania.  ‘It is an honour to twin our designated area of play with Flanders Peace Field’s Peace Pitch’.  Romania is fast changing and devoloping in all areas of society. READ MORE HERE


ISFP Studies’ Schools Links Project brings together students from throughout the island of Ireland and indeed the world, by way of its “Messines Experience” programme, which takes place generally in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and France, It has previously been used to bring together a community of Greek and Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus.…….  READ MORE HERE


SARI uses the power of sport to challenge discrimination, promote cultural integration and drive social inclusion throughout Ireland. Working with schools, Direct Provision Centres, refugee and local communities SARI delivers anti-discrimination educational workshops, intercultural sporting events and a Young Leaders youth development …….  READ MORE HERE


CCC. A new national initiative, the Children’s Coaching Collaborative (CCC), will be launched in 2022 with a campaign to encourage coaches to ensure that children and young people get to ‘play their way. READ MORE HERE


Professor Celia Brackenridge OBE, died in 2018 aged 67, was an international sportswoman, researcher and campaigner for gender equality and against child abuse in sport.  Celia, a founder member of the Children’s Football Alliance (CFA), was a stalwart in supporting the CFA when addressing the many formal authorities into listening to NGO’s that deliver children’s sport without branding. Celia, best described the CFA as ‘Development through football as well as development of football’.   There is much to celebrate in Celia’s work.  This article is a homage and a thank you to a wonderful person, with a legacy steeped in humility, integrity and humanity. READ MORE HERE


NCFA is proud to be involved with the Bestie 75 Tribute project. The tribute card (above) will be one of a limited edition set of 75 football trade cards to be launched on May 22, the anniversary of George Best’s.  Click here


Tim Waring founder of T.W. Braga based in Belfast shared some football for fun sessions that can be played at home with the family and without referees.  Click here and enjoy the fun.


NCFA would like to thank Brighton & Hove Albion F.C and sponsors Starlizard Integrity Services for donating and distributing kit to International Peace Fields Projects in Argentina, D R Congo, Ghana and India.  The NCFA projects continue to deliver peace education through football and all peace pitches are twinned with Flanders Peace Field, site of the 1914 First World War Christmas Truces.  The pitches enable communities to facilitate fun football games for free and celebrate peace on the annual International Day of Peace 21st September.


Grassroots football clubs have been forced to shut again as part of the second national lockdown, a move which has been widely criticised nationally.  Many Football Clubs have launched fundraising campaigns in order to replace the income lost from matchday fixtures.


Much needed football kits along with face masks will be distributed to International Children’s Football Alliance’s Peace Fields Projects.  The kind donation from Brighton & Hove Albion will be distributed by NCFA sponsors Star Lizard Integrity Services.




Football Makes History brings together history educators and youth workers from all over Europe to develop new educational resources that can help young people explore European history and heritage through the lens of football, as well as use football to tackle social exclusion.


The NCFA advocate football for all. The NCFA accommodate football in all formats. The NCFA facilitate mixed ability – mixed gender football. Therefore, when we heard about Salisbury F.C we were keen to learn more. In the knowledge that Wiltshire FA’s Charter Standard Club of the year, 2018 and 2019, were carving into the conventional grass roots fraternity a football for fun approach; the NCFA sent Paul Cooper with a quill and a pot of ink, to find out more.  Click here to read interview with Dr Debbie Sayers


Erasmus+ supports League Football Education; becoming a professional footballer is the dream goal for many young boys and for many the Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (ASE) is the first step on that road. Unfortunately it can also be the end of the journey – when a professional contract is not forthcoming and they are released by their clubs at the end of the ASE. Click here to view short film


UEFA FOUNDATION FOR CHILDREN want all children to be able to live their dreams by playing football regardless of their situation, believing that football has unique ability to make a difference to people’s lives. Click Here for More Exhibition Details


Report, We are happy to present you the latest UEFA Foundation activity report, covering season 2017-18. Activity report 2017-18  Rapport d’activité 2017-18  You can follow the foundation’s activities on our official website and social media Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


The NCFA have long lobbied the professional game here in the UK to provide football for children for free.  It is a concern for many soccer facilitators in the USA who are now challenging their football authorities to recognize and provide access to the children’s game for the growing majority that can not afford to play.  Is it about time that the game’s world governing body got on board?  Read a non profit organization’s argument to support free football here


UEFA and the United Nations helped to raise €605,000 for the UEFA Foundation for Children to fund humanitarian and development projects around the world. On 21 April, UEFA and the United Nations Office at Geneva joined forces to stage the Match for Solidarity charity football match. Aside from the game, between teams captained by Ronaldinho and Luís FigoRangers Read Press Release here


Ecclesall Rangers has more than four hundred members.  Martin Windle, Chairman and Welfare Officer, founded the club more than twenty-eight years ago.  Martin is passionately campaigning to retain and safeguard the Home Ground.   Sign the petition  and Read the story here


Paul Cooper revisits a period when national papers and the BBC were tripping over themselves to cover the outrageous behavior of parents on the touchlines of children’s football.  The fervour for blaming the children’s grass roots game for the England team’s lack of success. Read the article here



Connecting Football with History

Igor Jovanovia is a history teacher in Croatia with a passion for connecting  football with history.  Football is multicultural and international. That is why it is important to participate in projects of this kind   The Peace Field Project lends itself to thinking how football is the DNA for many communities.  Generations of supporters pass their stories and experiences on to their children.  These stories are then passed to the children’s children.  It is fascinating observing how the game shapes communities. Read the interview here.

Prithvi Jagan
played a key part in twinning a peace pitch in Chennai, India, while coaching for NGOs along with his colleagues, Aaron Thomas and Kailash Kc. The talented football coach talks about expectations and the power of football. As is the general norm in India, he faced the task of choosing between being an engineer or a doctor after junior college. His love for biology drove him towards choosing to study to be a dentist. But, the only issue that he had was that he had taken up dentistry and he was also a football coach!

Dentistry to Coaching

Prithvi Jagan
played a key part in twinning a peace pitch in Chennai, India, while coaching for NGOs along with his colleagues, Aaron Thomas and Kailash Kc. The talented football coach talks about expectations and the power of football. As is the general norm in India, he faced the task of choosing between being an engineer or a doctor after junior college. His love for biology drove him towards choosing to study to be a dentist. But, the only issue that he had was that he had taken up dentistry and he was also a football coach!

Read interview here

The Children’s Game

Paul Cooper, 
Director of The National Children’s Football Alliance, gave an interview to the Primary Times along with his Give Us Back Game founder and friend, Rick Fenoglio.  They talk about the campaign’s legacy and how the children’s game continues to struggle in the face of adult driven agendas.  The Children’s Game is fundamental in terms of development, creativity, exploration and inventiveness.  Will their game ever regain the freedom our parents and their parents enjoyed.  Are our children destined for a life of manufactured organised adult play?  You decide?

Read interview here

Learn To Back Off

Sue Palmer talks to the NCFA’s Paul Cooper about the importance of letting children play in environments not dominated by adults.  Sue discusses her work with UPSTART SCOTLAND and about the worrying aspects of professional football clubs keen on signing -up children to participate in the manufacturing of footballers.  Learn To Back Off is an insight to one of Britain’s leading experts in childhood.

Read the interview here

A Level Playing Field

matti_150Matti Vandemeale, 
Director of the Peace Village, Messines, Belgium, site of The First World War, 1914, Christmas Truces, talks about the Peace Fields Project and how visitors to the region feel a sense of humanitarianism every time they visit The Peace Pitch.  ‘There is a strong feeling for exporting peace back to communities around the world once people have visited The Peace Pitch and The Peace Village’.

Read interview here

David Evennett, MP, supports PFP

David Evennett talks to the NCFA about the importance of creating a legacy in the First World War centenary years and how sport is a valuable tool to get the message across to young people.  The brief interview will feature in the Peace Fields Project film funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and produced by the National Children’s Football Alliance. Click on the link below to view the interview and send it to your friends.

Read the interview here

Respite and hope in Freiburg, Germany

Becca Todd founder of Fotbolistas and Ambassador for The International Children’s Football Alliance continues to deliver a form of football to young and old which transcends the murky adult politics in the conventional game.  Becca, takes the essence of play and presents it to children in an environment that she shapes to aid fun and ultimately create opportunities to make new friends.  Becca writes about her latest project in Frieburg, Germany.

Read the interview here >

F C Unity

Yaman Nabeel_h150_w150Yaman Nabeel founder of F C Unity shares a wealth of knowledge about how football unites communities across the Middle East and across London.   FC UNITY was born after the success of the Goodiwll UK Tour of the Iraq National team and it came about with the support of Sven Goran Eriksson.  Joining the International Children’s Football Alliance is a new dawn for new Peace Fields.

Read the interview here >

Social Nutrition

Tim_w150_h150Tim Jahnigen
 founder of the One World Play Project is a multi talented visionary – some might say a maverick, to benefit on global peace.  With a rich history in the creative arts Tim has made the world of football a better place for a million young people and in the process he has provided the Peace Fields Project with the iconic poppy ball – a football like no other.

Read the interview here >

Arthur Wharton Statue

Arthur Wharton Archive Pic_w150_150Shaun Campbell was given a standing ovation after he delivered a speech at the Football Association’s St Georges Park, Burton on Trent.  Arthur Wharton is a hero to many generations and will be a hero to many more generations to come, says, Shaun.  We speak to the man who moved a mountain to get the world’s first black professional footballer recognised by the establishment and the world of football.

Read the interview here >

Prime Minister meets NCFA

ErnieNo10doorstep_300The NCFA’s Director, Ernie Brennan talks about meeting the Prime Minister and visiting 10 Downing Street to discuss the Peace Fields Project.  Funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund, the Football & Peace Pilot Project was considered a success with partners, participants and the government.  The Peace Fields Project continues the good work and invites schools and sports clubs to twin their areas of play with Flanders Peace Field.

Read the interview here >

The Magic of the Ball

Mark Burke Interview_150Mark Burke, takes the opportunity to talk about his football career from childhood to professional footballer to author of ‘A Different Kind of Soccer Book’. ‘I loved my football no matter what club I played for – I never took my childhood football playing days for granted, it taught me the magic of the ball, fundamentals of play and my childhood contributed immeasurably to the development of my professional playing career’. A refreshing interview with a different kind of footballer.

Read the interview here >

Minister for Sport Talks Peace.

Helen Grant 150Helen Grant Minister for Sport was the special guest at the National Children’s Football Alliance, Football & Peace Day Celebration, held at the Gallagher Stadium home of Maidstone United Football Club. The Minister featured in the Football & Peace Project film where she was interviewed by project teams on the importance of sport commemorating WW1.  Football & Peace was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Read the full article here >


One In A Million

Mick Gale coach 150Mick Gale is a classic example of all that is good in football.  NCFA Directer, Ernie Brennan first met Mick on one of the first FA Module 3 age appropriate courses, in Kent, England.  ‘Mick left an impression on me which very few people do.  I can only describe him as the Salt of the Earth with a knowledge and understanding of the game, second to none.

Read the full interview here >


Probably the Best Coaches in the World.

Tony David is a founder member of the National Children’s Football Alliance.  His knowledge, understanding and enthusiasm for football in the community has helped Arsenal Community win awards from organisations like the International Children’s Football Alliance partners, Football is More.

Read the full interview here >


Centenary Commemorations.

Dr Andrew Murrison, MP, (Special Representative for Centenary Commemorations) gives an exclusive interview to the NCFA.  ‘I am very pleased that the National Children’s Football Alliance intend to make sure that the Christmas Truce is a strong focus for what we do in the early part of the Centenary period.

Read the full interview here >


The More Moms The Better.

Luara Dutton (British Soccer Mom) … It is noticeable to assume that the more moms involved in children’s football the better it is for childhood. I want more moms to feel confident on the sidelines of children’s football games and take an active role in supporting football for fun and not just be railroaded into a football system operated by men for men.

Read the full interview here >


How to Identify Talent.

Rasmus Ankersen (Author of The Gold Mine Effect) says, ‘Cut the Crap’. The proclaimed High Performance Anthropologist’s ‘The Gold Mine Effect’ book is a frank look at the endless sports’ cases that continue to defy trend after trend, sport’s science after sport’s culture and expert after expert dinner speaker. Ankersen touches on the childhood aspect that provides the foundation for world class athletes to develop focus and remain ultra competitive.

Read the full interview here >


Unhurried Pathways

Sue Palmer (Author of Toxic Childhood and NCFA Pratron) talks to NCFA’s National Projects Director Paul Cooper about the issues concerning children’s natural progression and the adults role directing a digital generation, sometimes beyond the rationale. Sue has been involved in many national campaigns around education, outdoor play, screen-based entertainment and the commercialisation of childhood.

Read the full interview here >


T-shirts, Racism and the People’s Lawyer

David Neita was called to the Bar of England & Wales in 2000, Dave was a member of the legal team, which brought the largest group action claim in the UK on behalf of thousands of South African asbestos miners. Dave has also represented many youngsters excluded from school and he the last lawyer to Milton Hanson (deceased), the outspoken Nurse who confronted and fought against racism in the NHS.

Read the full interview here >


Rugby Town Community Football Club

David Roach (Youth Development Manager) is part of dedicated team of 85 volunteers looking after 34 teams that include girls, ladies, boys and under 21s. On top of that RTJFC have young leaders aged between 14 and 16 that assist managers and coaches. The Club funds the young leaders embarking on their coaching badges and they now have four coaches managers at the ripe old age of 18 and 19. NCFA’s Paul Cooper delivered a football for fun coaching session for boys, girls, mums and dads which ended up with a well deserved cup of tea back in the club house.

Read the full interview here >


Horst Wein Interview

Horst Wein, a German university lecturer with coaching assignments in 51 countries, has always been convinced that one way of promoting the game of football and persuading more youngsters to take up the sport is, to make the practise of football more enjoyable, attractive and from the learning point of view more effective! NCFA’s Paul Cooper talks to the man that operates on the cusp of football’s ever dividing legions.

Read the full interview here >


Kent FA Youth Council Interview

Inspired by a growing number of organisations advocating a child centred approach the Kent FA Youth Council is designed to provide a platform for young people to support youth participation in decision making throughout Kent football. Chairman Ricky Adams (RA) talks to the NCFA about a greater understanding of youth participation within the game.

Read the full interview here >


Dr Wilfried Lemke Interview

Mr Wilfried Lemke is a gregarious man’ said the young lady standing next to me. She too was waiting to interview him. I was about to interview Mr Lemke on camera and felt the moment would never come as he was busy being politely pulled from the British Ambassador to the German Ambassador and back to the Mayor of Messines. While a prestigious guest list was assembled to be taken from the Peace Village, Messines to the Digging of the Ground Ceremony at Flanders Peace Field, the place where in World War One 1914 the Christmas Truce Football game took place, I was thinking that it is hard to believe that it’s taken nearly a hundred years for the International Football Community to recognise the significance of this amazing space and place a shrine to the essence of football.

Read the full interview here >


INTERVIEW with Steve Watson founder FOOTY4KIDS

Footy4Kids founder Steve Watson is an unsung hero of the children’s game. Steve provides a website packed with information about the children’s game in its many formats. Members of the NCFA have long been admirers of the Footy4kids forum and requested that we feature the founder Steve Watson in a newsletter. There is no bigger supporter of the forum than NCFA’s National Projects Director, Paul Cooper (PC)

Read the full interview here >


Interview with Lloyd Wheeler

Lloyd is a modest young man with a talent to observe and shape a visual narrative. If you get the chance to watch Youth Football: Is It All Fun and Games you will find a community of footballers young and old enjoying their game without stress related adult issues and agendas, IT CAN BE DONE.

Read the full interview here >


Chris Green Interview

Every Boy’s Dream was the combination of many years of research into the English football academy system for several radio programmes, reports and newspaper & magazine articles. In the end I just felt I had to put it altogether into a book.

Read the full interview here >


An interview with Dave Ramzan

‘€œA majority of the FA’€™s new ideas for youth football mirror the way those who support GUBOG believed the game for children should be played, it is a pity that the FA did not take on board what the GUBOG Campaign was advocating some six years ago when I first encountered them’€.

Read the full interview here >


The next generation depends on people like you

NCFA founder member Paul Cooper talks with good friend and NCFA Patron Sue Palmer author of Toxic Childhood.

“Play is the natural human learning drive. It comes from within the child (from the moment of birth) and according to developmental psychologists it’€™s as essential to healthy development as food and sleep. Children are naturally programmed to be active, inquisitive, busy and social without any help from the grown-ups.”…

Read the full interview here >


An interview with Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson.

NCFA Founder, Ernie Brennan met up with Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson.

At a recent Grow the Game Football Foundation presentation Ernie Brennan Founder of the National Children’s Football Alliance met up with Hugh Robertson Minister for Sport and the Olympics. Via the Minister’s department the following questions were answered and promptly returned…

Read the full interview here >