St Albans vicar's prayer for Saints ahead of FA Cup clash with Forest Green

Rev Peter Crumpler is praying for St Albans City FC.

Rev Peter Crumpler is praying for St Albans City FC. - Credit: Archant

A St Albans vicar has offered a prayer to the players of St Albans City FC ahead of their massive game this Sunday.

Rev Peter Crumpler, associate minister at St Paul’s Church in Fleetville, wanted to offer his spiritual support to the Saints, who are based in his parish, before they take on Forest Green in the first round of prestigious FA Cup.

"To get this far in the competition is a major achievement for the National League South side. Whatever the result, the cup tie at their Clarence Park ground will be long remembered in the club’s history, going back to 1908.

"I wish them every success. The Saints play an important part in the community, bringing generations together. The team was in good heart when I saw them play a pre-season friendly, with a great atmosphere at the ground.

"Faith and football have lots in common. Some of the country’s biggest clubs were founded by vicars. Aston Villa, Everton and Manchester City had their roots in local churches. Today, many Premier League and Football League clubs have chaplains providing listening ears and encouragement to players and staff.

"Leading clubs have done much to confront racism in their grounds and in wider society. The Football Association and Premier League are working hard to make the beautiful game more inclusive and welcoming – including building on strong community links.

"St Albans City FC has just launched a programme with local schools, strengthening ties and recruiting ambassadors to deepen relationships with the grassroots club.

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"Places of worship and football stadiums have some rituals in common. Watch the crowd at a match, and you see people raising their arms as they sing or whispering a prayer in tense moments. There are no atheists in a penalty shoot-out.

"So, as the big day approaches – hopefully the first of many for the club – I offer a prayer for the Saints as they prepare to play before a national audience."

A prayer to our football team

Lord of the pitch, ground and terrace

We pray for the Saints as they play this vital match.

May they represent our city with passion and pride

And play a game for all to remember.

Give them the result they deserve,

For the sake of the players, the fans and all who are part of the club

And so bring us all to the final whistle without injury or regret.