Torto has worked at some of the highest levels of the game, ranging from
endorsement deals with Frank Lampard to supporting leading Football charities
such as the Bobby Moore fund. His credentials within football are second
to none, having built a reputation for fairness and support for Footballers
HELLO GODFREY, HOW ARE YOU DOING?
GT: I am fine thank you.
UJR: I UNDERSTAND YOU ARE A FORMER
PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALLER. HOW DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED WITH THE WORLD OF
I started playing when I was say 8 - 9 and then joined my local team Junior
Bees who were connected to Brentford FC, from there I played for West
Middlesex Colts and we ended up being the best team in the country 2 years
running. When I went onto Isleworth & Syon secondary school we won
the Middlesex cup in our first year. It was there I was scouted to play
for Chelsea FC. I guess it all started from there really.
UJR: I KNOW THAT YOU USED TO PLAY
FOOTBALL ALONGSIDE CHELSEA FC & FORMER ENGLAND CAPTAIN JOHN TERRY.
HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT?
Well while I was going through Chelsea Fc's youth ranks, John was coming
through 2 years below me. He was a midfielder than, he was a stand out
player in his year, so sometimes he joins us for games. It was a great
experience playing at Chelsea Fc at that time. Glenn Hoddle was the first
team coach, I remember playing in practice games with Mark Hughes and
myself upfront as well as playing with Ruud Gullit one of the greatest
players to ever play the game.
UJR: DO YOU THINK THERE IS A BIG GULF
BETWEEN AMATEUR FOOTBALL AND THE PROFESSIONAL GAME?
Well yes most definitely there is, especially with all the money that
is at the top level. The clubs are able to buy the best players in the
world so the difference has become bigger than in the past. Over the last
10 years the premiership has become huge and the biggest in the world
so the gulf has increased from where it was say before, however I would
still insist that there are some tremendous players in the amateur Semi-professional
football. They just need a break.
UJR: I KNOW YOU ARE CURRENTLY DOING
A LOT OF WORK IN RAISING THE AWARENESS OF SICKLE CELL. HOW DID YOU GET
INVOLVED IN THIS CAMPAIGN?
Well my son Jamare aged 10 has Sickle Cell s/c condition. I was not even
aware of what Sickle Cell was until we went for normal check ups before
my son was born. I was 20 years of age at the time, so I figured that
if I was not aware at that age then there must be plenty of other people
that aren't aware also. This triggered me to start raising awareness and
funds for local Sickle Cell Support groups by staging Dinner and dances,
WHAT KIND OF EVENTS TAKE PLACE TO RAISE AWARENESS?
We hold a yearly event called 'The Toy Story' where guests bring gift
wrapped children's toys and these are given to Chelsea & Westminster
hospital for there work with Sickle Cell patients are their families.
We also plan to stage an event called 'Give for Sickle Cell' which will
be focused towards raising awareness for Sickle Cell and much needed funds.
UJR: HOW CAN MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
CONTRIBUTE TO THE AWARENESS CAMPAIGN?
Keep on the look out for www.goodofthegame.com
which will have information on how to support the campaign and causes
we endeavour to support. Also at askgodders.com where you'll be kept updated
with progress etc. With regards to Sickle Cell - www.sicklecellsociety.org
are a good organisation that support other Sickle Cell groups across the
UJR: YOU HAVE MANAGED TO INVOLVE A
NUMBER OF PREMIERSHIP FOOTBALLERS WITH THE CAMPAIGN. WHAT ROLES HAVE THEY
In the past couple of years players such as John Terry has donated his
signed England shirt for auction at an event we staged last Christmas
called 'The Toy Story' raising awareness for Sickle Cell and also giving
toys to Chelsea & Westminster Hospital children for the hospital great
work towards Sickle Cell. David Beckham also donated his own England signed
shirt from his last World Cup with a note saying 'with Love for Sickle
Cell'; Sven Goran Erikson also signed it. With regards to future projects
we aim to work with a number of footballers closely from Carlton Cole,
Frank Lampard to name a few.
UJR: DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW PROJECTS
ON THE HORIZON?
I currently have a project called 'The good of the game' which is based
around supporting all things well within Football. That means supporting
Footballers and their charities by helping raise awareness and funds.
Also supporting initiatives by Football clubs and local clubs. We aim
to host the first 'Footballers Charity Ball Awards' which will highlight
awarding footballers for their charitable exploits and work within the
UJR: WHICH PERSON INVOLVED WITH FOOTBALL,
HAS HAD THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOU?
I would say Garth Crooks; I first met Garth around 7 years ago through
good friends Carl Leaburn and Michael Bennett both formerly of Charlton
Athletic. Since then he's been a constant positive influence on my life,
not just in football mainly life in general. Going back to my younger
years, I'd have to say Bob Osborn, he scouted me when I was 12 years of
age to join Chelsea FC and he still works for the club now as head of
UJR: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO
ANY YOUNG ASPIRING FOOTBALLER?
I would say the most important thing to do is to stay focused; there are
so many distractions, even more so now. You have to work hard and stay
focused on doing your best every time you play and also conduct yourself
well away from the pitch. Your school work and studies are more important
also as realistically, many kids will not make it, so it's key to have
other opportunities for you. However without question if it's your dream
to be a professional Footballer and you have the ability, follow that
dream with all you have.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FOOTBALLING MEMORY?
It's hard to pick one out really; I have so many stacked in the brain
library. If I'm honest I think when I was a kid winning The Canary Cup
at Norwich FC Carrow rd aged 13. It was a massive achievement for our
West Middlesex side and I was given Man of the match. We beat Glasgow
Rangers FC in the final. We were a Sunday team, but we managed to beat
some club sides and win the cup. They gave me a pair of New Balance boots
which Bryan Robson wore. Great times!
is Founder of Ask Godders Management and The Good of the game. For more
information about Sickle Cell log onto www.sicklecellsociety.org