A Football Goalpost Killed My Son


SKU paperback Category

100 in stock


By Brenda Smith

ISBN: 978-1-84747-679-1
Published: 2008
Pages: 76
Key Themes: football tragedy, mothers campaign to change law and put pressure on football asscociation


Brenda and Peters son Jonathan was killed in 1991 by a falling homemade goalpost which fell and hit him rupturing his heart. The goalposts were made from scaffold poles that weighed 200lb or more and had been welded. The children playing were in the under 11s team and probably only weighed no more than 70lbs or even less. They were all members of the Football Association which is mandatory. At the time there was no legislation for safety standards for goalposts, and there still is not, but now there are some standards that the Football Association has worked hard to achieve, and these have been copied in Ireland and Australia. The whole world needs to be aware of unsafe football goalposts, which is what Brenda has tried to achieve over the last 17 years.

After Jonathan died, and also after campaigning began, another 10 children have died in the UK and others have been injured. Had legislation occurred then these deaths could have been prevented.

Brenda has campaigned vigorously for 17 years in the hope of getting legislation for safe goalposts. She has come close at times to achieving this but still it evades her. In desperation, after feeling that no one else cares, even though the Football Association have supported her in getting safety measures in place, Brenda decided to write a book about the campaign and list the support that she has had from famous footballers and the media that have helped with coverage.

It would have been so easy for her to sit back and say, Well, I tried! I did what I could but she did not sit back. She pushed and pushed and pushed again to try to get somebody to take notice and realise that the deaths of these children are not just accidents, but the goalposts used are accidents waiting to happen, and the unsafe goals are still out there.

The books aim is to make parents, carers, football coaches and schools aware of what can happen when safety is ignored. It also aims so show the Football Association that she still needs support to get legislation for safe goalposts.

This is not a paranoid mother, who is frightened of sport. The family love football and support West Ham United avidly, but she wants everyone elses son or daughter to be safe when playing the game.

About the Author

Mrs Brenda Smith is 53 and the mother of an autistic daughter with complex special needs. She is a wife, mother and grandmother and is employed as a Clerical Assistant with the Civil Service.

Brenda lost her young son in a tragic accident involving unsafe goalposts and has campaigned for 15 years to try to get legislation in place for all goalposts to be safe in an effort to protect other children. She had lost a much loved child and been given a child that needed so much care and attention, and she always will.

Brenda enjoyed writing the book and feels that if she had read a similar book it would have given her the strength and hope that she needed after she heard the news that Laura had such complex special needs.

2 reviews for A Football Goalpost Killed My Son

  1. Paul Kirven (verified owner)

    A horrific and heartbreaking tale. The courage and determination shown to gain justice for this tragedy is nothing short of amazing – John Medley

  2. Nicky Hopkins (verified owner)

    Brenda’s tenacity and sheer determination in her campaign for safety on football pitches has been amazing and you can feel how hard it has been for her. The trauma she went through both with losing Jonathan and raising her daughter Laura have not been shown in this book but the courage and determination she managed to build up in her fight for what is right shines here. Bear in mind the fight has continued for 17 long years and is still ongoing. Although the FA say they want the same thing they seem to have shown little evidence of putting pressure where it’s needed, eg with Government Ministers who could obtain legislation for safety. They could also ban or fine clubs that don’t comply with safety regulations. To have a child die on a pitch that is run by the FA, because their equipment is unsafe, is absolutely shameful. But it didn’t just happen once it kept on happening. I hope parents of children playing football are now checking their goals to ensure safety regulations are being applied.

    A brilliant campaign, Brenda, you have everyone’s admiration I just hope you can at last achieve the support you’re asking for. If anyone in sport reading this book can give their voice to her campaign then they should actively do so, she needs all the help she can get. It can’t stop here.

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