Linvoy Primus – A footballer and a Christian!

29 03 2007

I have a new found respect for Portsmouth and Linvoy Primus! Read this article from Christianity Magazine UK.

Pre-match prayer meetings, Alpha and community projects are transforming Portsmouth FC. Premiership soccer star Linvoy Primus tells Emma John how faith, football and fame mix.

heres something strange happening at Portsmouth Football Club, and its so extraordinary that everyone in the Premiership players, fans, managers knows about it. Pub conversation about Pompey usually revolves around manager Harry Redknapps latest signing. Now theres a new topic, and its prayer.

A few months ago, a couple of Christians in the Portsmouth team decided to pray together before each game, huddled in the clubs laundry room. Their numbers grew, and now the Laundry Room Prayer Huddle is general knowledge across the country. It has been mentioned in match reports in almost every single national newspaper. And it hasnt hurt that in that time, Portsmouths performances have lifted them into the top half of the Premiership. Of course, says Portsmouth defender Linvoy Primus, they dont pray for a victory. It would be nice if we could pray for a win and God guaranteed it but thats not the way it works,he smiles. We just want to give back to Him the ability hes given us and ask that Hell use it to glorify him.

Sporting glory has become one of the most valuable commodities on the planet. Billion-dollar businesses are sustained by the never-ending global demand for sporting competition. The media obsesses over one mans ability to kick a football through a pair of posts, or one womans ability to hit a tennis ball past her opponent. We make sportsmen and women the darlings of our aspirational culture, feting them with money and fame until their skills themselves become irrelevant, subsumed by their sponsorship deals and their celebrity. In such a world, where do Christians fit?

Soccer saint
Linvoy Primus was 26 when he was bought by Portsmouth, then struggling to stay in the second tier of English football, for a quarter of a million pounds. Primus had spent the previous eight years playing in the lower leagues for Charlton, Barnet and Reading. Both his footballing career and his personal life were unfulfilled. Married, but with problems at home, Primus and his wife were struggling to find genuine friends. Being a footballer, it seemed, made people keen for a piece of him and he didnt know who he could trust. In my head, in my heart, there was turmoil,says Primus. People said I had it together I had a lovely wife, two children. Id think, Yeah, it looks good from the outside but you dont know whats going on inside.I worried about what was going to happen at the end of my playing contract; that stopped me enjoying the football. I wanted to play well in every game, but I was being lied to by the enemy who told me I was never good enough.

A couple of his wifes friends invited Primus and the family to a local service and introduced them to the church. And when Primus decided to commit to Jesus, it didnt go down well at work. When Id first come to the club I wasnt a Christian, so all the guys knew about me, they knew the way I was. When I first told them Id found God I got a lot of stick and grief over it. There was one other Christian player Darren Moore and they assumed he had a lot to do with it. Actually, he hadnt at all.

The first few months were the hardest.
I had believed up until that point that I wasnt a bad person. So when I explained to the guys about Jesus, they knew what was going on in my family life, about our problems. And no, I didnt change dramatically, but I knew something had changed in my heart.Six months later the situation began to ease and gradually his teammates started turning to him. Guys started asking for prayer they wouldnt ask outright, only on the quiet, for members of their family,he remembers.

With former player Mick Mellows, Primus prayed for more Christians to come to the club and over the next three years the pair began to see God answering their prayers. Their core of Christian players and staff grew to 13 they were even able to run an Alpha course. Primus had become a vital member of the side, helping Pompey to win promotion to the Premiership in 2003. By then he was a favourite with the fans who voted him their player of the year. He also scooped the Professional Football Associations divisional player of the year award a major honour.

In general our faith has become respected; no one frowns on us or laughs at us, or considers us a cult. Theres been a really obvious spiritual turnaround at the club. Its amazing to think that a year ago we wouldnt have even thought about having prayer before a game.Primus was careful to respect the managers authority, and make sure the timing would not interfere with team preparation. Now others have joined us, like the kit man and the masseur. Even some of the non- Christian players come in to pray.

Playing hard on the field has long been linked to playing hard off the field. After all, sport is traditionally a social activity; and it
s not that long since even the nations greatest sportsmen could be found doing their pre-match training in the local pub with a fag in hand. Professional sportsmen today are, of course, far more aware of the importance of healthy living. Theyre also far better paid than their predecessors, and hedonism and materialism are two very real temptations.
By Emma John.

I thank God for this man who has been a light to his fellow team mates in Portsmouth and to make you known! Should i support Portsmouth now? hick hick.



5 responses

2 04 2007

Yes, Linvoy is a great bloke. There have been several articles including one in the Guardian from last year.

Guardian article on Linvoy Primus

12 11 2007
Pastor Kevin Cansfield

Praise God! for Guys like Linvoy, Darren Moore etc. Who prove that it’s possible to be a sports star and a Christian in a tough, competitive enviroment. We will be praying for you.
P.S. when will Steve Mclaren notice Linvoy, Best defender in the premiership.

26 03 2008
Mike Keefe

As a Christian and a football fan, primarily the EPL, I would be interested in knowing what other players are Christians, in England and Europe and South America.
thanks you and God Bless !
Mike Keefe

7 01 2010

Jermain Defoe, Kaka, Linvoy Primus, Darren Moore, Carlo Nash, Gavin Peacock (retired), Sean Davis.

Hope This Helps

16 08 2009
Jeffrey Tisanjoh

Its great and faith amassing to hear of such life giving move by Primus.Infact right here in Cameroon though preparing to get to Europe,records are set in the hearts of my team mates of a God that lives since i started indoctrinating them with the Christian lifestyle.In fact i call myself a football minister and i am happy this ministry is being carried out EVEN in Europe(ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE) for that matter. I would love to stay in contact with you.But while waiting.I declare that you are blessed in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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