We are so excited to introduce ourselves. We are Small To Big FC.
We are a small company based in Ipswich, Suffolk and we are on a conquest. yeah a conquest. We have a goal to fight all forms of discrimination in football, raising awareness and making sure no one has a hard time playing such a wonderful game.
I (Josh) started this company with one clear and simple mission – to make sure people get the same joy from football I do. and to be honest in terms of business history and running companies i really dont have a clue, but i do know that no one should ever feel uncomfortable because of how they look or who they are, especially not in a game that is based on being part of a team.
Being a football fan is such a huge part of peoples life, you don’t have to play it to love it, its infectious, it gives you feelings you never thought you could have, and these footballers we cherish so much (in many cases worship) are shining beacons of hard work and perseverance, truly great sportspeople.
So I was watching a game on TV at about 3.20am in early January (MLS i believe) and watched several supporters chanting at a player who had recently had time off because he had some personal issues, and you could see it was hindering his performance. None of my business though right? there’s bodies that deal with this, he will be fine.
I took a long shot and reached out to the player a couple of days after, and to my surprise he responded. That was crazy for me, because as a fan i obviously knew his career and followed it, so i was completely starstruck, but the question i asked him wasn’t “how do you still get a game” or “stop being so gay and get on with getting the team back on track” as he had previously had been asked, i just said “Hey, i i hope youre okay, looked like you had a tough game the other day” signed a concerned fan.
26 minutes later he replied “thank you, its been really tough but am recovering slowly, your support is appreciated”
I felt mixed emotions, i was so happy he replied, but felt like why has he replied to me? is no one asking how he is?” and that was sad, from such a glorious career to 15 minute sub appearances in the cup, its like watching your hero disappear.
We were similar, had similar backgrounds, the noticeable difference being he could play football and i tried to, but i was shocked, and thought about what i remembered from school, and the difficulties i had and watched other people have, because of who they are.
I was born in Harare, Zimbabwe, and moved to Ipswich in 2001 age 8. My background is full of strong independent females, my auntie was an amazing sportswomen who always challenged for what she believed was right. I didn’t grow up with stories of hero’s, i grew up with stories of my family, my mum the bodybuilder and saint, my Grandma a famous reporter with so many awards she gave them to me to play with. MY ROLE MODELS.
I found football the day after i moved to England, through a kid called Dale, someone who has had a hard time with learning difficulties but always had time to make sure i was okay and settled, a true friend. For those of you that know Dale you know how much of a geezer he is, always laughing, and crazy opinionated. but if you know dale you know how much he loves football, and he inspired me to push this idea, this company and the reason he became a role model for me, because Dale suffered a lot, but always kept a smile on his face.
I fell in love with a professional football club, in Liverpool FC (believe me i have suffered hards times with them) but the resounding message from the club was always “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and how tight they are as a football family.
That’s what i want everyone to feel, football isn’t a game that is based on how you look, who you are or where you come from, its based on being a team unit and working as so, so why is there still people being abused?
I don’t have an answer yet, but i can assure you STBFC will be fighting everyone’s corner, so if you would like to speak about difficulties you’ve faced, or know someone who might be interested, please let us know, we need to talk about it, we need to find answers, so we also need your help.
Thanks For reading, and please be sure to follow us on all social media channels! or to donate to the cause!
Thank you again