An interview with Bill Gates and International Peace Day

Peace One Day’s One Day One Goal campaign that ISF was proud to participate in.

Sunday 21 September is International Peace Day and our partners at Coaches Across Continents and Peace One Day are taking this opportunity to promote peace – through Football of course! CAC is a global organisation that coaches football coaches around the world in order to increase social impact and peace through sport. We were delighted to begin a partnership with CAC in 2013 when they first came to train our coaches, and we were thrilled to have them back in August this year when Nick Gates, the founder of CAC, joined the delegation of on their return to ISF. Find out about the amazing impact of the two week training course here.

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While CAC were with us in Cambodia, we also caught up with Nick’s father, Bill Gates, the ex-professional UK footballer who played for Middlesbrough F.C., and his wife Judith, who is a CAC board member and programme advisor. Though football has long brought people together, when Bill began his professional football career, which spanned from 1961 to 1974, football for social impact, development and peace was far from the agenda… it was a very different football world indeed!

Talking about how football has changed over the years, Bill reflected that the maximum wage for professional players was initially just £20 per week (not much more than the £18 that his father and other men earned down the mines!) When Bill began his football career, professional footballers either chose football or education, however, Bill was unique in that he took the unprecedented step to do both. He applied for and was granted flexible working which enabled him to train hard in the mornings and study hard in the evenings until he completed his accountancy exams.

Looking back on his career, Bill recalled the highlights which included being captain of the English Youth Team and playing against some of the greats like Francis Lee, Johnny Walker, Bobby Charlton, George Best and Ron Harris. He also enjoyed raking up a 13 professional goals (not bad for a centre half!) but he was quick to point out that the goals weren’t the objective; it was the teamwork and the game that mattered most.

Today, Bill shares that love of football with young p