Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Hi there!
Why do you stare?
Is it the way, or what I wear?

I'm just 
The same as everyone
And you.

Only life has made it harder
For me,
Than you.

© Peter McGuire

The amazing Peter and his brother Steph McGuire are known as the Boccia Brothers. 

They both have muscular dystrophy, an incurable degenerative condition. 

Having overcome the barriers that have affected their lives since birth both brothers represented Team GB at the London Paralympic Games in 2012. 

Both are still competing competitive at the highest stage. 

I had the pleasure of meeting Peter, Steph, young Ciaran and Peter Junior in Glasgow on Monday. Steph and I were in the same team as we carried the Queen's Baton during it's Commonwealth Games relay in Woodlands, Glasgow and I've made a friend for life.

If you feel that life has dealt you an unfair hand then look at these two awe inspiring humans. 

Let their inspiration envelope you, shake you up, and help you rise up and reach for the stars again. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Another Longbridge Road car smash

Just seen this on the way home. The passengers had to be cut out. 

With EID a week away I thought I'd share this for the benefit of any potential joyriders. 

Drive safe everyone. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

RMA hold community Iftar event

The Riverside Muslim Association, Barking organised a community Iftar to celebrate the month of Ramadan. 

Residents and guests from various backgrounds came together to break bred and eat at sunset. 

Barking Councillor Cameron Geddes said: "I was so privileged to have been invited. The atmosphere was so peaceful and friendly. And the thunderstorm rumbling in the distance and lighting up the night sky helped make it a memorable night!"

Imam Muhammad Imran added: "It is extra special that members of our community have joined their Muslim neighbours and shared food together. 

"Thank you to the volunteers for their hard work. We will have a community funday on the day of Eid. The event is free and open to everyone."

Glasgow Rangers club tour

Emdad Rahman: Glasgow has an abundance of history and Mohammed and I popped up to Gasgow for the day. Our first port of call was the historic Ibrox Stadium - to survey and savour the history of one of the world’s great football clubs.

Many moons ago 4 young men shared a dream - to start a football club. They had no money, no kit - not even a ball.

Yet from such humble beginnings emerged a magnificent football club  - Rangers FC. None of those four men could have foreseen the shockwaves the ripple effect of their actions were about to do when they met in 1872. At that time all they wanted was having their own little team to play for and represent. No one dared dream that over a century later the baby named Glasgow Rangers would become a venerated football goliath.  Nor could they have envisaged that Glasgow Rangers would win trophies galore and have a worldwide following running into millions.

All those championships and cups would never have found their way into the Ibrox Trophy Room but for that encounter between Peter McNeil, his brother Moses, Peter Campbell and William McBeath.

Their first match was an unlikely affair against Callander FC at Flesher's Haugh on Glasgow Green.

The pitch was open to all-comers, so to claim it for your game you had to make sure you were there first. The home team played in street clothes, with the exception of four "guests" who, as they were members of other clubs, already had their own strips. The ball was second-hand.

The result was 0-0, but that didn't matter. Rangers had been born.

The famous 'RFC' Scroll crest is now instantly recognisable to football fans across the world and is steeped in history.

It is believed to have been used by the Club since its formation in 1872 although the oldest item to be found with this crest stamped on it is from 1881-82 season. The Rangers-Celtic Old Firm rivalry is one of the oldest and fiercest in world football, dating back to the late 19th century when Celtic were founded in Glasgow's East End.

The teams first met at Celtic Park on May 28, 1888 in what was also the Parkhead club's first-ever match. Around 2,000 fans saw the home side win 5-2.

The nickname 'The Old Firm' originated during the early year of the 20th century when the clubs began to dominate Scottish football and the term in part referred to the financial benefits associated with their frequent meetings.

No two teams have dominated their national championship as much as Rangers and Celtic - between them they have won 96 of the 114 Scottish titles available since 1890.

And they have also contested numerous dramatic head-to-head encounters.

Taking over as manager from William Wilton in 1920, Bill Struth was Rangers' most successful manager, guiding the club to 14 league titles before the onset of the Second World War. On 2 January 1939 a British league attendance record was broken as 118,567 fans turned out to watch Rangers beat Celtic in the traditional New Year's Day Old Firm match.

Leading the club for 34 years until 1954, Struth won more trophies than any manager in Scottish Football history, amassing 18 league championships, 10 Scottish Cups, 2 League Cups, 7 war-time championships, 19 Glasgow Cups, 17 Glasgow Merchant Charity Cups and other war-time honours. During the wartime regional league setup, Rangers achieved their highest score against old firm rivals Celtic with an 8–1 win in the Southern Football League.

Our tour guide was Chris and what was evident right away was his love for the club. Couple that with his knowledge and constant research into all things Rangers, and you have a fantastic Club Ambassador. A big thank you to Chris for being such a terrific host.

Whether you’re a football fan or not you too can experience the magic of this world famous stadium with your very own 'access all areas' pass!

On the Ibrox Tour you will get exclusive access to the home dressing room, climb the marble staircase and explore the illustrious Trophy Room. Plus take a virtual tour of the Club's state of the art training facility at Murray Park and run down the tunnel before taking a seat in the dugout.

Ibrox Tours run every Friday, Saturday* and Sunday* and are priced at just £8 for Adults, £5.50 for Children/OAPs - Kids 5 years & under go free and a family ticket for 2 Adults & 2 Kids is £24.50.

*Not on match days.

The Stratford Soup Kitchen

"Sometimes it's easy to walk by because we know we can't change someone's whole life in a single afternoon. But what we fail to realize it that simple kindness can go a long way toward encouraging someone who is stuck in a desolate place."

Mike Yankoski

It takes a lot of bottle to present oneself at a soup kitchen and ask to be fed. One is nervous, self conscious and the sense of pride feels particularly bruised. 

There are proud people who visit our soup kitchen, educated people, individuals of good stock. However , unlucky circumstances have placed them on a level par with the 80 or so people who sleep rough in and around Westfield and the Stratford Centre, London. 

Within that kingdom your accent or social status doesn't quite cut it. You're vulnerable and need help and support from the community. And this is where soup kitchens like One Third are so necessary. 

I saw Maureen smiling at me from a distance but as I was in the zone, serving with the team and chatting to visitors and general members of the public it didn't click, until later. I beckoned her over and offered her a plate of food. 

Maureen loved the new dishes we had on offer that evening. As a special treat our cook had laid on meat biriani and chana chick peas. We were all tempted to do a little cheeky takeaway but failed in our bid to do so as the pots were wiped clean well before the final bell. "I'm really hungry," said Maureen. "My mate has gone to McDonald's. We don't have enough for two so she's gone to eat first. She'll be out soon and will be shocked to see me. This is delicious. God bless you all."

Jay joined for a little chat and even took our group pics. He said he'd bring his dad over next time. We had a lot of new faces and some of the regulars like Amanda were missed. George came to visit us in his wheelchair. He liked the food so much he even had thirds. 
At the latest One Third soup kitchen we had three new volunteers join the pack. It was great fun, great banter, great company all the way. 

Kind hearted members of the public donated £22.00 for contribution towards the next pot. 

My cricket team Scintilla CC had thrashed Bow Green so all in all a great day. I had to break my fast on the way back but got in to share a wholesome family meal. No food problems there - Lucky me, eh?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Rekindling happy thoughts with Lily Tsoni

Emdad Rahman interviews the author of Josephine, the black, the white

“When mother was a little child, she’d need two or three French grammar books which couldn’t be easily found and cost a lot of money. “You will need this in two years time from now, in high school” grandma had said. “In two years time? From now for the year after next?” “These, she had told, were far more useful and essential than a doll whose her head, arms and legs would eventually fall all! I, of course, insisted that nothing would fall off!” - Lily Tsoni

Greek writer Lily Tsoni is the writer of “Josephine, the black, the white”. It is a vivid recollection of the Author’s childhood memories.  Lily says that her chronicle is a “book for all, teens, tweens, young adults, their parents and grandparents.

“I hope it will ignite happy memories within all my readers. It is a happy box of childhood innocence and blissful thoughts.”

As a young girl Lily recorded vivid and cherished details of her childhood. “I stored them in my heart,” she said. “In later years I decided to open my heart and share its contents and so have written this memoir.”

The book has been described as a charming, cute and evocative memoir by Richard Hunter, Professor of Classics, Cambridge University. Lily runs her own publishing house and is a permanent member of the Greek Literary Union. She is also a TV and radio journalist and presents shows about culture, the Arts, ecology, children’s issues, health, and of her travel experiences throughout Europe.

Lily is passionate about a wide range of community issues: “I support equality, human rights, education, the Environment, animals and criminal Justice. These matters have always shaped my thoughts and expanded my thinking.”

Lily is a volunteer for the Arts & Civilization of the Municipal Art Gallery in Lamia, Greece and also attends Classics at Cambridge. Writing though is her favourite pastime: “I have been writing for years. There are many things in my drawers waiting to be put on paper. I have a second book planned too and will continue to publish my writings.

“My intention is to complete a further two books by Christmas. One of a child’s experiences at Christmas - but when I say child I also refer to those adults who still shelter a child inside of themselves. It's a glittering celebration of a special time of the year.”

Lily has lived in London and has been visiting annually one month at a time for the last 7 years: “I visit my son in London - I think it is the most colourful and promising capital in Europe. But sometimes you have to ‘mind the gap.’ I have also made many good friendships here over the years.”

‘‘Josephine the black, the white” was published in December 2013 and in the UK in March 2014 by Perfect Publishers. It is a pleasant read that can be enjoyed reading alone, on the go, sitting shaded under a tree, on a dull and dark rainy day, with children, friends and loved ones. Lily’s crafted narratives will evoke happy memories of childhood upon those who pick up the book. I very much look forward to her future books.

“Whenever I am in Lyon, I always dash to the second floor of Musée des Beaux-Arts to stand in front of Gericault Mad Woman’s portrait. Last time, the guard of the museum looked at me strangely when he heard me calling her... Maria!” Am I to blame that she is identical to poor Maria, Aristides’ sister, of my childhood years?” - Lily Tsoni

Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Cambridge Pen (December 14, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 6188104823
ISBN-13: 978-6188104822

Thursday, July 17, 2014

“Cricket is a gateway to achieving your dreams”

Exclusive interview with Enamul Haque Junior

Emdad Rahman

Enamul Haque Junior has had a very eventful cricketing career so far.

The Bangladeshi slow left arm orthodox bowler was a mere 18 years old when he created history by becoming the youngest ever bowler to take ten wickets in a test match. The feat was ever the more significant as it was previously held by the legendary Wasim Akram.

Haque made his senior test debut in 2003 against England in Dhaka. He impressed the board of selectors enough to be awarded a rookie contract with the Bangladesh national team in 2004.

It was early 2005 when Haque came to the attention of the cricketing fraternity. Zimbabwe toured Bangladesh and Haque took 6/45 in the second innings. The haul became Bangladesh's best test bowling figures. In the second test Haque smashed his own record by taking 7/95. At 18 years and 40 days the fledgling star had surpassed a global superstar in Wasim Akram and instantly come to the attention of the cricketing world. His progress continued and by December 2005 Haque reached the milestone of 100 first class wickets after Rafiqul Islam was caught and bowled during a match against Rajshahi.

Haque is currently taking a short break in England during the pre-season and has spent his time catching up with friends, relatives and keeping match sharp by training and playing a cricket with Scintilla Cricket Club in Barking & Dagenham and the London Tigers.

He has been maintaining a strict health regime to keep himself ‘sharp’: “It’s hard in Ramadan but the month should not be used as an excuse to indulge in excesses. I am an athlete and just like many others I have to watch what I eat and when I eat. I have also been training and playing cricket during the weekends has helped me maintain a level of sharpness.”

“I’m on a pre season tour to London during the off season in Bangladesh. I will be playing a few games for Scintilla Cricket Club and the London Tigers to keep my fitness levels up during the off season."

Haque has been impressed by the standards of grassroots cricket in England: “I’m seriously surprised by the skill and stamina level I have seen. The boys I have played against have been dogged, skilful, determined and tenacious and play a seriously a good level of cricket. It’s very good for the game in England.”

We discussed the levels of interest in the game in Bangladesh and the prospects of the national team: “Cricket is a gateway to achieving your dreams.

“Back home people are crazy about cricket. It’s the number one sport in Bangladesh and there is so much passion. A good job is being done to harness this passion and promote cricket. With our current good development, astute selectors and coaches as well as a good crop of youngsters I am confident that in the next few years we can be a good nation of cricket.

“There are some promising youngsters. In Sylhet we have three up and coming left arm spinners who are progressing and will make a big impact if they continue to stay level headed and work hard, namely, Masum who plays for Sylhet Division and  Jabed, who has represented Bangladesh under 19’s and Sylhet Division. There are quite a few stars in the making and I’m confident that our cricket future is in good hands.”

Haque has a good philosophy and understands the need to promote a sustainable legacy for cricket around the world: “Whichever country you play for, domestic cricket is the most important matter for cricketers. It is very important to have a well developed and continually improving domestic game as this is the one way of ensuring you have a very strong and capable national team.

“In Bangladesh, cricket at grassroots levels are continually looked over and talented players are supported in their bid to progress professionally. There is a working structure in place and this means that the Bangladeshi national team will reap the benefits."

Haque’s favourite players are Daniel Vettori and Sakib Al Hasan: “Daniel Vettori is only the 8th player in test history to take 300 wickets and score 3000 runs. He has had an amazing and dream career.

“Shakib Al Hasan is a complete cricketer. “I love his confidence, his bowling and his cricket sense. In my opinion they are cricketers that all younger up and coming players should take as role models.”

Haque has visited Lord’s to watch England play India: “The wicket in England is slow and low which is a change from what we are used to. This is a five test series and I’m very excited as like all cricket fans. I think the lack of a top spinner for India will hand England victory.”

What next for this gifted bowler? “I have been fortunate to have role models from whom I have gained great strength throughout my career. There is Parvez who played for Sylhet Division, Rajin Saleh and Alok Kapali who have been great influences on my career and outlook in life. They represented Bangladesh with heart and soul and I am a big fan who adopted their game styles and incorporated them into aspects of my own play.

“On this point I would like to point out the impact and influence of ex international players like Khaled Mahmud Sujon and Minhaj Nannu on the game back home.

“These are people with super cricket brains and with Nannu becoming a director I am very hopeful and excited at how the game in Bangladesh will progress.”

“I hope that the current group can in the next five years set a goal and take Bangladesh from 10th to 6th in the rankings.

Haque is hopeful about next season: “I’m going to continue working hard, train, play and strive to get back into the folds of the national team. Nothing beats the feeling of stepping out and playing for your country.

“It is a very short career and my advice to young people is to work hard, be committed, and be professional. Cricket is everything in Bangladesh. It has given us dreams and allowed us to soar.

“My future? I will continue to train hard and I’m hoping win a recall to the national team. I’m a proud Bangladeshi. I've fulfilled many dreams through playing cricket and I hope my hard work will earn me a recall. I’m certainly not done yet.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Peter Chatfield - The perfect pick me up

"The hour of departure has arrived and we go our ways; I to die, and you to live. Which is better? Only God knows."


I popped over to see Pete today. He was in very good spirits. It was a "pick me up" on many levels. 

We enjoyed a few laughs and I updated him on my dad's health, asked him to make dua for my mother, who has been unwell and the family. I told him that my dad had ditched the walking stick and was performing the late night lengthy Ramadan Taraweeh prayers now with no assistance. 

Lastly, I updated Pete on me running the British 10k last Sunday and how I was able to run for the first time since my Achilles injury. He nodded away with great interest and a wry smile in his face. 

I also told Pete that we were doing a trek of Scafell Pike to raise funds for the orphans and stricken in Gaza. He asked me to pass his black book, fumbled around and took out a cristp £20 note. "Here's a score, I'm donating to the cause, I have plenty."

I tried to protest but ended up getting a load of the industrial verbals (bleep, bleep). Hair dryer treatment over, we were joined by another visitor. He had lost his wife last week and they had both met Pete too. Pete told me he was worried at how this this gentleman was coping with his recent loss. 

We decided to saunter out to enjoy the good weather and we took Pete for a spin in the sun in his wheelchair. We were joined by two more visitors. It was nice. Because it's Ramadan we couldn't enjoy a nice cold beverage but we all sat in the shade and in no particular order, discussed life, politics and football. Bliss!

The forehead wasn't enough and he wanted a kiss on both cheeks when I had to take leave. 

I hope to take our trek team to see Pete in the next few days. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Scintillating Scintilla reach pole position

Barking & Dagenham club win six games in a row

Emdad Rahman

Scintilla CC vs Newham CC
Venue: Bobby Moore Pavilion, Flanders Playing Fields, Napier Road, E6 2SG East Ham, London

Scintillating Scintilla CC stormed to the top of the table with a no holds barred beating of Newham CC in the latest round of games in the Essex County Cricket League (ECCL). It was the Barking & Dagenham Clubs sixth win in a row.

Scintila won the toss and with a damp wicket opted for Newham to bat first. Newham’s experienced openers held their nerve during an early Scintilla barrage and coupled with some loose bowling racked up 60 runs in 9 overs.
Scintilla introduced two debutants in Sabbir al Mahmud Sany and Mobassher Ahmed. Newham proved a tough baptism as 24 runs were conceded in just two overs and 36 runs in 5 overs respectively.

Ashfaqur Rahman Nobel replaced Sany and impressed with his in-swingers. Nobel grabbed 3 wickets in his 7 overs with a maiden over for his records.

But Kashif Iqbal of Newham CC seemed unstoppable as he pierced through Scintilla CC bowling attacks and fielding with the greatest of ease. He reached his half century but that was to be the end of the line. Up stepped Enamul Haque Jr to claim Iqbal’s scalp, caught at the covers by the evergreen veteran Sajal Rahman who took a gravity defying back leap and catch. The moment conjured by Enamul Haque Junior and Sajal Rahman proved an inspirational catalyst.

Haque Jr once again showed his class as he demolished the Newham CC middle order batting line-up. He finished his 9-over spell with 4 wickets and only gave away 20 runs to the opposition.

Scintilla CC captain, Faris Almas-Lee Rosmanizam decided to take up bowling spin from the other end and managed to support Haque Jr in restricting the runs. Rosmanizam ended with 1 wicket for 37 runs in 7 overs.
Newham CC were all bowled out for 195 runs in 43 overs.

An aggressive start from Scintilla’s top order batsmen dominated the opposition bowlers until Ashraful Islam was bowled as the opener alongside Sajal Rahman fully utilised the powerplay overs by clearing Newham CC deliveries frequently over the fielders. With this brutal display Scintilla CC reached 60 runs in just 6 overs.

Nobel again flourished with the bat as he struck 58 runs in his innings. He showed patience and calmness, and was ably supported by Rosmanizam (10 runs) and Bellal Hossain (39 runs). The talented Hossain reached a quickfire 39 from 29 deliveries before a mistimed shot and was caught out.

Nerves took hold as Scintilla CC lost another 2 quick wickets - Mobassher Ahmed and Ahmed Choudhury with 9 runs left for a win. Nevertheless, Abul Hasib (4 runs) and Enamul Haque Jr stayed calm with Haque Junior hitting a boundary to to secure victory by 3 wickets in hand and with 16 overs to spare.

Scintilla captain Rosmanizam said: “More points for Scintilla CC but we should have done better in all departments. There was complacency in the field and we must improve if we want to win the championship. Further work needs to be done and I hope the players learn from the mistakes as early as possible since the season is already half-way completed.”

Enamul Haque Junior said; “It was a tough game and there were some outstanding performances from Newham CC. It was a difficult win. A lot of the boys were fasting so the victory is extra sweet.”
Man of the match Ashfaqur Rahman Nobel added; “Newham CC are always tough and rugged opponents. I’m pleased with my performance but even more pleased that the team secured the points. I’m glad we don’t play Newham CC every week.

Brief scores:
Result: Scintilla CC won by 3 wickets

Scintilla CC won the toss and elected to field

Newham CC 195 all out in 43 overs. Enamul Haque Jr 4 for 20, Ashfaqur Rahaman Nobel 3 for 23
Scintilla CC 196-3 in 29 overs. Ashfaqur Rahaman Nobel 58, Bellal Hossain 39

Man of the match: Ashfaqur Rahman Nobel (Scintilla CC)

Demelza House Hospice appeal 2014

This month marks the release of Peter Cook’s tribute to Prince for Demelza House Hospice.  The track can be downloaded from Bandcamp, Google Play, Amazon etc.

Set in a Funk groove “What U C Is What U Get” tells a fictional story of a strange relationship between Prince and someone from another galaxy.

Warning – the song contains an explicit lyric. “I have produced a ‘bleeped’ version for more sensitive ears,” said Peter.  He added; “It will be interesting to see how the song fares with the Prince fanbase. I’m pretty sure some will love it and others will hate it due to the various nods and winks towards the master himself. We shall see.”

The Bandcamp option is especially interesting, as it includes an exclusive “BUY IT DEARER” option – This means there are no Amazon fees and Peter and the team will be donating a full £2.49 per copy to the Hospice.

To purchase click here...

Germany are champions of the world

Germany 0-0 Argentina

Germany add another shirt star
Thanks to super Mario Gotze
Extra-time winner against Argentina 
History is made at the Maracana 

Whilst DFB lapped up the cheers
Albiceleste just couldn't shift gears
At least the Brazilians shed no tears 
Now Messi has to wait four more years

Estadio do Maracana • Rio de Janeiro

12 .07.14

© emdad rahman

#worldcup2014 #brazil2014 #fifaworldcup #germanyvargentina #worldscup #fifa #footballrhyme #worldcupfinal

Sunday, July 13, 2014

British 10k 2014

“Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor” ~ James Baldwin

Did you know that 27% of rough sleepers have been on the streets for 2 years or more?

The Whitechapel Mission is dedicated to providing a lifeline to the men and women caught in the cycles of poverty, hopelessness and dependencies of many kinds, and to see their lives transformed to hope, joy and lasting productivity.

It was my seventh run for the Mission. Running conditions for today were perfect. As it is Ramadan I have observed the fast today. It was cool, dark and slightly drizzly. Last year it was 28 through to 32 degrees. My favourite part of the race was bumping into the legendary Tony Stevens of the Daneford Trust. We shared a quick chat and a selfie. The likes if good old Tony are what spur young whippersnappers like me into shape. 

This year it was much easier and as I type this blog an hour before breaking fast I'm still not thirsty, nor have I had any headaches. In fact I've enjoyed a normal day out and about and am now getting ready to watch the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina. 

The Whitechapel Mission is an amazing charity that is dedicated to offering a lifeline to the some of the most marginalised people in our community. 

102,586 breakfasts have been served during this year, an average of 281 a day. 5123 different people have used the services during this year.

The Mission's goal is to help people to help themselves, giving them the confidence they need to become independent, which we do through practical support and advice and by teaching them the life skills they need to succeed.

Staff at the Mission believe everyone deserves a chance, regardless of their background, race or religion.

They are open every day of the year and expect to see as many as 300 homeless and vulnerable men and women each day. And we do this without any public funding at all.

All of us who volunteer and give a little time to the Mission know that we can, and are, making a positive and lasting difference to the homeless who ask for our help.

I will be ruining next year. It would be a pleasure if you joined me too.

Brazil depressing as Holland take third

Brazil 0-3 Holland

RVP and Blind win the play off game 
Wijnaldum cementing the shame
Brazil's back to back losses and ten goal spree
For the first time time since 1940

Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha • Brasilia

12 .07.14

© emdad rahman

#worldcup2014 #brazil2014 #fifaworldcup #brazilvholland #worldscup #fifa #footballrhyme

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Albiceleste reach fourth final

Holland 0-0 Argentina
Argentina win 4-2 on penalties 

Now this dour semi
Didn't match Brazil and Germany

Vlaar and Sneijder missing a penalty 

Poor Jesper Cillessen
Couldn't match Romero in the pen

It's a repeat of eighty six and ninety

09 .07.14

© emdad rahman

#worldcup2014 #brazil2014 #fifaworldcup #brazilvgermany #worldscup #fifa #footballrhyme

Help fight hidden hunger

Here's the super bunch I joined for a volunteering shift at the Tiwer Hamlets Foodbank this week. 

Every day in Tower Hamlets, one of the most deprived areas in the UK, over half of its children are in families experiencing real poverty for reasons such as illness, unemployment and debt. With rising food and energy prices combined with low income, children are going hungry every day – with parents having to make the stark choice between heating and eating

Tower Hamlets Foodbank (part of the Trussell Trust UK wide network of Foodbanks), works to tackle hidden hunger through the provision of emergency donations of food (enough for a minimum of three days) and support to those facing real crisis.
No money + no food = crisis.

Founded by Denise Bentley, Tower Hamlets foodbank was launched in the winter of 2010 and is coordinated by the charity First Love Foundation.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mark McConville

mcconville the bhoy
charruas tartan joy, and
charity envoy

© emdad rahman

#markmcconville #celtic #charruas #uruguay #fifaworldcup

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Akeelah is Toddling for Barnardo's

Akeelah is toddling for Baranardo's 
Two year old is heading for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Emdad Rahman 

The Barnardo’s Big Toddle is the UK’s biggest charity event for under 5s and is a short sponsored walk for toddlers that helps the UK’s most disadvantaged under 5s. 

This year around 300,000 children will take part in The Big Toddle. 

Two year old Akeelah attends Barnado's Bow Nursery and later this month will join other toddlers on the half mile walk around the queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. This is an exclusive and fun event for children by children. 

Every year there is a fancy dress theme and this year it's 'Space.' This means all toddlers (and adults) are invited to dress up as astronauts, aliens, stars or planets as they take off along the Big Toddle route. No matter which costume they choose every child taking part will be a star as all the money raised will help Barnardo's to give children the best start in life and to fulfil their potential.

Akeelah and her friends will make a difference to more children’s lives as well as having a day to remember. "I'm walking for babies," grinned Akeelah. 

Akeelah's parents are very proud indeed. Her mother Hafsa said: "Tower Hamlets is a place where so much charity takes place. Akeelah is surrounded by role models and we are so happy that family and friends will join us to support her fundraising."

"Akeelah absolutely loves Baranardo's" said her father Mustafa. "She has developed so much and her happiness and positivity rub off on everyone else. It's super that she is walking to fundraise for a place that is so special to her."

"The Big Toddle will be a family walk," said Bow Nursery manager Emma Van Rooyen. "Parents, family and friends can enjoy a picnic, followed by a collective walk. We expect sunshine and great fun is guaranteed."

For information about the Big Toddle please visit

Barnardo's Bow Nursery is based at 95 Bromley High Street, London E3 3EN - 020 8983 7973.

Brazilliant Germans reach Dreamland

Brazil 7-1 Germany

It was Belo Horrorzonte for Brazil 
Biggest semi win by Team DfB
Thomas Muller again nicked the till
Klose beats Ronaldo to make history

A brace from the Kroos control
Samba Kings felt the Khedira strike 
Five nil and a thirty minute stroll 
Schurrle's two for a seven heaven hike

Lean, mean, German machine 
Neuer angry as Oscar broke bread
Bra71l gold rush unforeseen
For Big Phil it's all Fred and dread

Estadio Mineirao • Belo Horizonte

08 .07.14

© emdad rahman

#worldcup2014 #brazil2014 #fifaworldcup #brazilvgermany #worldscup #fifa #footballrhyme

Thank you Mizan Chaudhury for the pic ��

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Tour de France Le Grand Départ 2014

I was fortunate to play a part in joining fellow Tour Makers and Team London Ambassadors in delivering what was described by Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme as the "grandest Grand Départ." 

Stage 3 saw the riders pass through Cambridge, Essex and London, finishing on the Mall. 

Official estimates may say that 3.5 million fans turned out to watch the 198 riders but common consensus suggests that the figure was just a shade over 5 million. 

It was an amazing end to three days which began in Leeds with a royal send off and finished with a sprint finale down the Mall in Buckingham Palace. 

A jubilant Mr Prudhomme said it was not a question of “if” but “when” the greatest cycle race on the planet would return to this country. 

I had a very pleasant day. Although Victoria Dock was quiet, the fan park at Trafalgar Square was buzzing. Team London Ambassadors mixed with visitors and even featured in a promotional video shoot for the FA's bid to host matches during the UEFA Euro 2020 European Championships. 

Scintilla win five in a row

Enamul Haque Junior helps inspire resounding win

Emdad Rahman

Match: Scintilla CC vs Ford CC
Venue: Peter May Sports Centre, 135 Wadham Road, E17 4HR

Scintilla gained revenge as the Barking & Dagenham club defied the form book to obliterate Ford by 5 wickets. 

Scintilla won the toss and elected to field in the hope of exploiting the green track for their pace bowlers and several dry patches for the specialist spinners. 

The decision to do so paid off. 

Ashfaqur Rahaman Nobel bowled a wonderful spell of 7 overs, ripping through the top order batsmen of Ford CC to finish at 3 wickets for 26 runs in his spell.

Abul Hasib continued his excellent swing bowling whilst varying his pitches with slower deliveries, making it very difficult for the opposition to play him. His 7 overs conceded 19 runs and gained one wicket in the last over.

The introduction of two Scintilla CC debutants, Enamul Haque Jr and Tanvir Priyam proved particularly momentous. Enamul Haque Jr, a current Bangladeshi national team cricketer showed his class. The international star hardly broke sweat as his spin bowling coupled with flighted deliveries caused all sorts of problems for his opponents. 

Haque snatched 3 wickets, giving away only 10 runs in his 6.4 overs.

Tanvir Priyam struck gold in his first delivery and followed with his second and third wicket in his next two overs. 

A notable contribution was from club captain Ahmed Choudhury who took two brilliant catches in the field. 

At the close of the innings, Ford CC were bowled out cheaply for 91 runs by the home side. With 92 runs as the target, Scintilla CC decided to retain their current openers for the run chase.

It did not go as planned as youngster Rifat Mahmud bludgeoned the ball high to lose his wicket. 

Sajal Rahman at the other end was not phased by the formidable Ford CC bowlers. Rahman was aggressive in his batting and launched two huge sixes and two fours before being trapped by a slower delivery from Adeel Mirza. Rahman was out caught and ended his innings with 25 runs from only 21 deliveries.

Scintilla CC captain, Faris Almas-Lee Rosmanizam (16 runs) carried on the run chase with Nobel for a stand of 20 runs before being caught out in the 13th over.

Ashraful Islam clubbed 3 towering sixes on the leg side and 2 powerful fours, ending the run chase with 7 wickets in hand. He finished not out with 28 runs. 

Scintilla CC won by 7 wickets in hand. 

Team Captain Rosmanizam said: “Another good performance all round from the players. 

"The introduction of Enamul Haque Jr certainly boosted our spirit to win and we are really happy to have him in the squad for the rest of the season. 

"We still have a long journey for the championship and consistent performances from all the players should be the key for a positive end of the season.”

Enamul Haque Jr said: "I was pleasantly surprised by the skill levels displayed by the players. 

"It is obvious that there is a lot of talent within the grassroots that can be tapped into by cricket clubs. I really enjoyed playing today and hope to keep my fitness levels up by playing games during my short stay."
Club Captain Ahmed Choudhury welcomed the contributions of the two debutants: "Enamul and Tanvir galvanised the squad with their presence today. Morale is good and we are determined to continue this winning streak."

Brief scores:
Result: Scintilla CC won by 7 wickets

Scintilla CC won the toss and elected to field

Ford CC 91 all out in 27.4 overs. Enamul Haque Jr 3 for 10, Tanvir Priyam 3 for 24, Ashfaqur Rahaman Nobel 3 for 26
Scintilla CC 93-3 in 15.3 overs. Ashraful Islam 28 not out, Sajal Rahman 25

Man of the match: Enamul Haque Jr (Scintilla CC)

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Ramadan with One Third

We might be abstaining from food and drink during the long daylight hours but the team at One Third are committed to ensuring the soup kitchen runs smoothly throughout the holy month. 

After all, it's temporary, and the punters reach out and greedily devour and scoff the gutbusters as soon as the Adhan for Magrib is proclaimed. In fact we eat to such excess that many complain of heartburn and indigestion throughout the next day. 

The people we serve on a Friday and Saturday are very different. They may be wedged in between Stratford and Canary Wharf but that's where the similarity ends - they have no home, no hearth, are struggling for a nutritious meal and some have no family, nor friends to call upon. 

It reminds me of an image of a child who asks her mother when they will break fast as the rest of the world has broken theirs, prayed, and ate again in preparation for the next day. 

These souls sleep rough and wash as and when they can. I met a proud Pole yesterday. He feigned that he couldn't understand me but it was obvious he did. He wouldn't make eye contact and I knew right away that as a proud man he was embarrassed to be reduced to be asking for food charity.

We had our regular visitors and we had a nice catch up. During lighthearted banter Amanda even said she missed it when the lads were absent from the stall. I guess it's the effect I have...

We spotted a fellow sitting across the road and a member of the team took a hot plateful over. It was well received so we sent out two of the team to seek out people who were experiencing difficulty in making their way to our kitchen. We found another gentleman in similar circumstances. 

The dhal and rice was immense and very popular. A few visitors came back for seconds, thirds and even takeaways. We were able to finish duties and get home to break fast. I was able to zoom it to Tower Hamlets, pick up my nieces and get to my older nieces in Stratford to break fast. 

Ramadan is a time for contemplation, self improvement and giving. One Third will continue to serve the vulnerable and the homeless throughout the month and beyond.

Krul end for Costa Rica

Holland 0-0 Costa Rica
Holland win 4-3 on penalties

When faced with penalties
Dutch courage faced the freeze

But misses from Ruiz and Umana

Tim Krul comes off the bench 
Los Ticos exit is a wrench

Van Gaal's tactics are hailed a wonder 

Arena Fonte Nova • Salvador


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La Albiceleste break Red Devils

Argentina 1-0 Belgium

Señor Sabella's sloppy stumble
La Albiceleste still rumble
Clinical goal by Gonzalo Higuain
Sends Rode Duivels the home train

Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha • Brasilia


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Auriverde through as Neymar goes home

Brazil 2-1 Colombia

Brazil are in a World Cup semi
After a pulsating quarter phaser
Over Los Cafeteros a gripping victory 
Passion and tension in Fortaleza

Captain marvel Thiago Silva 
Stuck out a knee for the party trick
With a sound wall and cascade of colour
Came David Luiz's stunning free-kick

Rodriguez set up a thrilling finale 
Zuniga's knee and a fractured vertebra
Seleção head to Belo Horizonte 
Minus Silva and Neymar

Estadio Governador Placido Aderaldo Castelo • Fortaleza


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Fearful France Fizzled

France 0-1 Germany

Germany the first to the World Cup semi
With Mats Hummels' early header 
Three times champs far more gutsy
To ease past France at the Maracana

Estadio do Maracanã • Rio de Janeiro


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Thursday, July 03, 2014

Wilmots knocks Klinsmann out

Belgium 2-1 USA

Goalless and drab after ninety 
De Bruin grabbed the bounty

Game changing sub Lukaku

Pulsating Yankees looked lively
Green made it unlikely

Red Devils make it through

Arena Fonte Nova • Sãlvador


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Wednesday, July 02, 2014

In the ring with Jorge

School boy is a boxing star in the making 

Emdad Rahman

I had the pleasure of watching and meeting Jorge Tommie Anderson recently. Jorge was at York Hall with some of the country's top talent to represent the famous Repton Boxing Club against England and Arsenal legend Tony Adams' Gabala Boxing Club. It was a charity night and Jorge and his fellow boxers helped to raise £10,000 for the Mo Farah Foundation and refugees in Azerbaijan. 

Jorge was part of a Repton select squad to face their powerful Azerbaijani rivals from Gabala at the famed east end boxing venue. The youngster impressed as he fought and won on the night. 

The 11 year old is a pupil at Guardian Angels Primary School in Tower Hamlets and has been boxing for three years. His inspiration was Charlie Magri, who was also a friend to his grandfather. Jorge’s favourite boxer is Philippine world wind Manny Pacquiao.
Jorge won his match convincingly. He said; "I’m plsased with the result and glad to support charity work and raise awareness about a good cause.”

He is dedicated to his regime; "I love boxing and it keeps me busy. As I grow older it will keep me out of trouble. At Repton we have people who are experienced and will help me do well."

During his fight Jorge combined a high level of skill, tenacity, athleticism and vigour to overwhelm his opponent. He has tremendous energy and if he continues to knuckle down and progress then he has a very promising future. 

His family are close knit and will keep him on the straight and narrow; "Jorge is a great young man," said his mother Martina Byrne. "He's helpful and kind and I think his boxing has given him a lot of positive discipline. Our family will support him."
His Aunt Maureen Padmore needed fresh air; "Jorge has made us proud. I was ringside but found it hard to watch. I kept thinking somebody would get hurt. He did really well and I'm relieved that he got through unscathed."

Young though he may be, Jorge is focussed; "I'm going to work hard with my trainers and if there's any chance too move up in the future I'll be hungry and ready to take it."

Wise words indeed. 

Tony Adams hosts charity boxing night

Football legend joins stars to raise awareness of refugees and £10,000 for the Mo Farah Foundation


Emdad Rahman


A whole host of celebrities, including ex-boxers Frank Bruno and John Conteh and footballers Tony Adams, Joe Cole, Tony Woodcock, Gary Mabbutt and Nigel Winterburn, attended a Gala Charity Boxing Match between Repton and Gabala (Azerbaijan). The event was organised to increase awareness of Azerbaijan's 875,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees and to raise funds for the Mo Farah Foundation. Bethnal Green boxing club Repton stepped forward to stage a special charity night to mark World Refugee Week and also raise funds for the Mo Farah Foundation.


The popular boxing event was also attended by Tale Heydarov, the President of the Gabala Sport Club in Azerbaijan. Tale has been instrumental in building boxing in Azerbaijan and in particular forging international links to help encourage sporting development at a grass roots level in his home country. One of the initiatives he has spearheaded was this charity boxing bout between Gabala Boxing Club and Repton – the oldest and most famous boxing club in the UK.


The night was hosted by the European Azerbaijan Society, in association with ex Arsenal and England Captain Tony Adams and Darren ‘Dazzling’ Barker, the IBF World middleweight champion and former European, British and Commonwealth champion, and commemorated World Refugee Day. The presenter for the night was Gary Newbon from Sky Sports and the evening also featured appearances from reality stars Chloe and Charlie Sims.


Leyla Aliyeva, Vice-President, Heydar Aliyev Foundation; Syed Kamall MEP, leader of the Conservative Group in the European Parliament; and Lord Addington, Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Azerbaijan and keen sportsman attended the match, together with around 800 boxing fans and promoters, celebrities and pundits.


The main part of the evening saw eight enthralling bouts, with Repton’s promising young hopes in various weight categories being pitted against their counterparts from Gabala. Boxing, wrestling, judo and other martial arts remain popular across Azerbaijan. The country’s national boxing team brought home two medals from the London 2012 Olympics. The night saw some close split-points decisions and overall victory was awarded to the home team of Repton.


Frank Bruno said; “Azerbaijanis are a tough group of people and you’ve seen this tonight. They might be amateurs but I think many could easily turn professional. That’s how good they are.”

During the interval, a cheque for the princely sum of £10,000 was presented to the Mo Farah Foundation with the remaining proceeds donated to charities assisting Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs.


Jorge Tommie Anderson fought and won on the night. 


Jorge won his match convincingly. He said; I’m really happy with the result and glad to have supported charity and raise awareness about a good cause.”


Tony Adams said: “The event is in aid of Refugee IDP week. I spent 18 months in Azerbaijan and now advise and manage the sports club. We have a very successful shooting team, football, with qualification for the Europa League and a boxing team.


“I’ve bought the boxers over to face the famous Repton club in this great venue in the east end. Gabala Sports Club has got a fantastic boxing team that has been training very hard for tonight, and I am delighted to be their manager.


“It’s great to support the Mo Farah Foundation. Azerbaijan has 875,000 refugees and IDPs and they should have the chance to return home. Gabala Boxers are proud to have visited London and fought their Repton opponents. It’s been a very good night. We’ve raised a few quid for the Mo Farah Foundation and overall it’s gone very well I think.


“Everyone’s enjoyed the evening and we’ve seen some excellent boxing. Brilliant! We have raised £10,000.”


Gabala FK is an Azerbaijani association football club based in Qəbələ. They play in the Azerbaijan Premier League, the top division in Azerbaijani football.

The evening also highlighted the new TEAS ‘Many Happy Returns’ (MHR) initiative. This is an opportunity for members of the public and politicians to pledge their support to help Azerbaijani IDPs and refugees to return home. It also gives the chance to sign a petition requesting the re-designation of World Refugee Day – defined after World War II – as World Refugee and IDP day. The MHR website athttp://www.manyhappyreturnsidp.comalso uses graphic novel form to explain the background to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Albiceleste break Nati hearts

Argentina 1-0 Switzerland

Mr Magic loaded his gun
A superb, mazy run

Di Maria escapes to victory

The helpless Benaglio
Dealt a late blow
Late agony for Blerim Dzemaili

Areana de Corinthians • São Paulo


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Germany win ugly

Germany 2-0 Algeria

Fantastic Foxes embraced the acclaim
Andre Schuerrle sounded the chime
Mesut Ozil made it two to kill the game
Djabou pulling one back in injury time 

Estadio Beira-Rio • Porto Alegre


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Les Bleus send Super Eagles home

France 2-0 Nigeria 

France poised to rule Brasilia 
Emenike ruled out offside 
Stephen Keshi's Nigeria 
In no mood to play the blushing bride

Paul Pogba's dead cert volley
Saved by Enyeama
Another stinger from Yohan Cabaye 
Volleyed against the bar 

Who will face Germany or Algeria ?
Pogba steers in a cool header
Yobo diverts from Valbuena
France will be at the Maracana 

Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha • Brasilia


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Gekis Miss Costa Greece

Costa Rica 1-1 Greece
Costa Rica win 5-3 on penalties 

Another day and another shoutout 
Bryan Ruiz passed the ball in
Los Ticos in no mood for what about
Papastathopoulos silenced the din

Stalemate after ninety 
Keylor Navas simply flew
Gekis misses the crucial penalty
Umana steers Los Ticos through

Arena Pernambuco • Recife


© emdad rahman

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