Stevie, Australia, began training at Atherton Gardens in Melbourne 18 months ago. He originally hails from St Helens in the north-west of England and worked in England and internationally as a successful jockey for 17 years. His work brought him to Australia in 1998.
Stevie has been homeless and lived in menâ€™s shelters before he found out about The Big Issue Street Soccer Program.
â€œIn the past I had problems with alcohol and I was in a rehab when I saw a flyer saying come down and train. I went down and George (coach) and Bushy (player) made me feel welcomeâ€.
When asked what he likes most about the Street Soccer Program, Steve says â€œI like having â€˜a crackâ€™ (a laugh) with the lads, I really like playing football. It keeps me fit and it gives me something to look forward to. It breaks the week up and stops it being monotonous.â€
Stevie has been on the straight and narrow for 16 months now and says that the soccer program has helped him, as has attending regular AA meetings, playing in his Sunday League side the Caulfield Cougars and being a dad.
â€œYou donâ€™t have to do things alone. There are people and services out there that can help people out.â€
Stevie was humbled to receive the 2008 Best and Fairest Award for the Melbourne Street Soccer Program.
â€œIâ€™m rapt with the award, but weâ€™re all winners just for being here today anyway,â€ Stevie said.
â€œSometimes people donâ€™t understand when I try to explain how important soccer is to me, but it has dead set helped me change my life.â€
Stevie says â€œit feels enormousâ€ to play in the Homeless World Cup. â€œIâ€™m most looking forward to playing the game I love and meeting other players.
â€œI want to do my bit to get the message out there that itâ€™s homeless not hopeless!â€
Steve is also actively involved in The Big Issueâ€™s Adopt-A-Team project, talking to hundreds of Melbourneâ€™s school children about his journey.
â€œIt is such a pleasure telling kids about my life so they can learn from my mistakes, I have been so surprised how well they listen and take it on boardâ€