The Old Spotted Dog Ground is home to Hackney Wick FC. This club with perhaps the best stadium name in the game, was founded in 2015 by a former semi-pro footballer named Bobby Kasanga.
‘The Wickers’ aren’t your average club however, their ethos in there own words is “based on community engagement and uniting the local diverse groups as well as battling peer pressure and tackling gang influences.” Despite being a semi-pro club, obviously on the pitch success will come and go, but the story off the pitch is arguably more important for this club.
The club sponsored by a number of local business’s to Hackney has established its own charity called ‘The Wickers’ and look to combat rising violent crime in their home area, this is done by offering educational workshops, sporting opportunities, mentoring and access to work routes. The players and staff at the club also volunteer hours of their time to help their community, creating opportunites and providing role models to young people in Hackney and across London.
Until the founding of Hackney Wicks, Hackney was without a professional or semi-pro club, amazing to think really with the huge catchment area the borough has. Hopefully with this cause to unite behind, the diverse population of Hackney will come out and support the club, and with their help propel the club up the football league ladder.
Using football as a catalyst, Hackney are looking to improve the lives of themselves and everyone around them and change the face of football and their community. ‘The Wickers’ thanks to their message and ethos have appeared on many national and international media pages, and hopefully this continues as their’s truly is an amazing cause and one that everyone, from Hackney or wherever should get behind them.