My message is that if you can show great strength in character, everything is doable
Manisha Tailor – Ambassador for BASTF
How I fell in love with the ‘beautiful game’
Since the age of 8 years old, my twin brother and I together ate, drank and breathed football – which at times got us into quite some bother at school! Our parents were not always impressed with the lack of attention spent on our school work, as for us, spending time organising lunchtime matches was far more important – primary school was awesome! Joint at the hip, quite literally, until secondary school that is (mum and dad intentionally sent us to separate secondary schools) – our love for the game both playing and watching continued. He however, influenced by my dad, became a Liverpool follower – they never did manage to convert me, I am a Gooner through and through! My twin – the reason I fell in love with the beautiful game we know as football.
Left with a broken heart – quite literally
Our joint love for football continued until we were 18 years of age. Unfortunately, as a result of a series of traumatic events, my twin became depressed – and 14 years on, continues to suffer from the taboo word in football ‘mental health’. So, as some know me as having two jobs (teaching and coaching), the honest truth is I don’t, as I am also a carer accumulating that to three. The reason for me mentioning it though has significance – as despite on one hand feeling broken, it is this very situation that gives me the strength, motivation and will power to continue as an individual and move forward within the professional game, as it is something special that we once shared.
My twin is the reason I became engaged in football – and, despite the circumstances, continues to be my inspiration in wanting to do well in all aspects of the game be it coaching, playing, mentoring or linking it to education. The say ‘god gives his battles to his strongest warriors’ and in some respect, without the mental strength, carrying out many roles and responsibilities would be extremely challenging for me.
Football: A powerful tool
My message is that if you can show great strength in character, everything is doable. Being able to use the power of football as a vehicle to overcome difficult situations is a wonderful thing – something that I have done and continue to do. I am a huge supporter of the work carried out by Elite Welfare Management (EWM) who are providing a platform of support as well as being pioneers of addressing the taboo within the game.
For me, my journey and professional development in football will continue, so that on full recovery, my twin can say he is proud of his sister – my greatest influence on who I am today, both in and outside of the game.
BASTF would like to Thank Manisha Tailor for sharing her story.