Telling the story of Park Life, Four Seasons of Rhondda Football

by Sports Journalism second year students

WE’RE all familiar with the saying ‘everyone has a book in them, but in most cases that’s where it should stay.’

In other words, everyone has a story to tell, but they are not all worth telling, or not everyone can tell them well.

That isn’t true of University of South Wales disability advisor Peter Roberts. The historian with a passion for the beautiful game penned Park Life, Four Seasons of Rhondda Football, as a means of documenting his observations and experiences of Sunday league football.

A story of community and camaraderie, of men who pay to play the game they love, wash their own kit and share their successes and failures in the bar of the ‘Maindy Con’, it focuses on the Rhondda Valley.

Once home to familiar names in the game like Alan Curtis and Nathan Jones, the Rhondda is a far cry from the homes of the millionaire footballers who play in the Premier League.

Roberts joined second year Sports Journalism students and final year Callum Ellis, who interviewed him about the story of the book and the stories in his book.

The second years then focused on what they found most interesting about the information Peter shared, and wrote their own story about it.

They can be read here:

Joe Mansfield focused on how notes for a presentation dinner provided the content for the book.

James Dodd was interested in the inspiration Roberts got from the team and the way his determination eventually got him a publisher.

Matt Slater picked out the importance of the hidden gems that play such a big part in Sunday league football.

Dylan James was inspired by the author’s relationship with grass roots football.

Robbie Armstrong asked Roberts for his views on playing lower league football in the summer.

Ben Jones found the community-centric stories interesting.