From Premier League to the church pulpit

From Premier League to the church pulpit
Gavin Peacock | Shutterstock
Gavin Peacock
Gavin Peacock Former professional footballer. Husband, father and Associate Pastor of Calvary Grace Church, Alberta, Canada.
26 November, 2022 5 min read

I was brought up in a footballing family. My dad, Keith, played for Charlton Athletic for 17 years in the 1960s and 70s, and I grew up at the Valley watching him. All I ever thought about doing was following in my dad’s footsteps. That was the goal for me.  

Like a lot of schoolboys, that was the dream for me. Of course, I had the great privilege of having a dad who could be a hands-on coach from an early age.

So we were a footballing family, but I was not brought up in a Christian home and never heard the gospel preached. Sunday school gave way to Sunday soccer. The most biblical form of instruction I received was in assemblies at the Church of England school that I attended. I was a kid who intensely wanted to achieve in the classroom and on the field. And my father taught me the necessary self-control, discipline, and skills to succeed in education and in the professional sports arena.

At age 16, I left school and signed a professional contract with Queens Park Rangers (QPR), who were in the top-flight with Terry Venables as manager.
I had achieved the goal. I was playing for the England Youth National Team, and it wasn’t long before I broke into the first team starting eleven at QPR aged 19.

However, shortly before my full debut the most important thing in my life happened. I became a Christian.

I wonder how many of those fans realised that this is the best news in the world, and the only way to a glory that never fades.

I’d been increasingly thinking about life and its great purpose. I mean, I had everything, didn’t I? I had achieved the schoolboy dream. I had money in my pocket at a young age. I potentially had a good future. I had relative fame compared to many of my contemporaries who had left Bexley Grammar School.

Become a church agent - The cheapest, fastest, and easiest way to get the print edition of ET