Freedom Through Football: Reading with Roger Wilson of The Easton Cowboys/Cowgirls!

27 September, 2012 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Book Thug Nation

Freedom Through Football Cover

Roger Wilson

One of the founding members of the Easton Cowboys and Cowgirls Sports
Club, Roger has played soccer, cricket and basketball in the local leagues
in Bristol for over 25 years. Thanks to the happy meeting of minds that
happened in 1992 with the formation of the Cowboys/girls he has also
kicked, batted or shot hoops in Compton L.A., the Zapatista autonomous
zones of Chiapas, Mexico and the dusty pitches of the West bank in
Palestine (amongst other places). He now divides his time between being an
engineer and a historian.

Freedom Through Football: The story of the Easton Cowboys and Cowgirls
Will Simpson & Malcolm McMahon
Tangent Books (Sep 2012)
£9.99 (~$15.00)

It’s the summer of 1992. Around the same time the ‘whole new ball game’ of
the English Premier Soccer League kicks off, a disparate group of young
men from inner city Bristol make a decision. They resolve that the
informal Sunday afternoon kickarounds they’ve been enjoying for several
years should take on a more serious hue. They decide their soccer team
should join a local amateur league. And they give themselves a name:
Easton Cowboys.

Few of that team could have predicted that two decades later their club
would not only still be going but would have expanded to encompass seven
men’s and women’s teams, three cricket teams, netball and basketball
sections, and a social network of over 200 people. While the Premiership’s
riches has taken the professional game on a dispiriting voyage to the
depths of absurdity and obscenity, the Easton Cowboys and Cowgirls have
been on a very different sort of journey.

It’s a journey that has seen them smuggled into Zapatista communities
under cover of darkness, play cricket in Compton, South Central LA, and
soccer on the dusty pitches of Palestine. Along the way they’ve sheltered
asylum seekers from Mozambique, spent an afternoon as uninvited guests at
Windsor Castle and been joined by rampageous netballers, can can dancers
and an up and coming street artist named Banksy. At times it’s been
nothing if not a bumpy ride – as a team and as individuals they’ve had to
confront imprisonment, death, drug and alcohol problems and meet them all
head on.

This is the world the Easton Cowboys and Cowgirls have created for
themselves. Long standing team members Will Simpson and Malcolm McMahon
are your guides to this punk and anarchist-inspired, community-minded club
that truly is like no other in British sport.

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