Lee, Wales 2003 & 2004
"Football gives me strength and if it wasnâ€™t for that I donâ€™t know what I would have done."
Lee Jones captained the Welsh side in 2003 and 2004. Now returned to the Edinburgh 2005 Homeless World Cup as assistant coach. This is what he had to say:
"This year I am going to the third Homeless World Cup as the Welsh Squadâ€™s assistant manager, having played in the squad for the other two tournaments. I was captain the first year and, halfway through the second, I was asked to be captain again when their first choice didnâ€™t work out. Now Iâ€™ve been asked to be assistant manager and Iâ€™ve been involved since the start. Itâ€™s going to be hard not playing this year as I love to play football but I will be watching a team that the manager and I picked and trained.
I canâ€™t work due to a mild form of schizophrenia which is stress induced â€“ itâ€™s just another obstacle to overcome â€“ but in these last three years a lot of things have changed for me. I have got access to my two children, who are four and six-years-old. It took a year to get my ex-wife into court and a further six months to have them stay with me on a regular basis. I have also got a flat now and I have been in a serious relationship for almost two years, which is awesome.
Football gives me strength and if it wasnâ€™t for that I donâ€™t know what I would have done. It gives you something to look forward to, to strive for. Hostels are draining; you are in with people you donâ€™t know and who have all sorts of problems â€“ itâ€™s a terrible life. The Homeless World Cup highlights the fact that we arenâ€™t all alcoholics who want to be homeless. A lot of homeless people want a chance to get on with life and if it takes football to get that into the average personâ€™s brain you have to support it 100 per cent."