On Tuesday 15th January Southend United first team player paid a visit to Brockfield House for a question and answer session...
The patients got a chance to ask John about his career and what it is like to be a professional footballer.
The experienced defender spoke about what it takes to reach the top level and the sacrifices he had to make through his development years.
“Your mentality is key, you have to be committed and be strong."
John also took the time to speak about the setbacks he has had including injuries’ as well as not being picked in the starting line-up.
“It’s hard to sit on the sidelines with an injury but being out because you don’t fit into the manager's plans is even harder to take."
This visit was slightly different to the usual session from Southend United Community & Educational Trust, as the participants are used to a skills and drills based session that are instructed by our coaches.
Disability Officer Georgia Raby had this to say about the hospital visit.
"Having player appearances at sessions like this help the participants in a variety of ways, it gives them motivation and inspiration to achieve their goals, whether that's sports related or not.’’
John summarised his time working with the community by saying. “The community aspect of any football club is important, but for me, personally my favourite bit about the job has to be putting smiles on peoples faces, and making people happy is a great thing for me to do.
"If I can do that within 15 minutes of being with someone, especially with the little kids as well as adults, then that can make a big difference in the community.
“Today’s visit was a bit different, the normal visit would have seen us go to a summer camp or a school, but because they were older they produced some great questions during the Q&A!
"They were asking questions that they generally have a passion on and interest about, it’s brilliant getting questions from kids as well, but because of the different people that you mix with both in and around the community you get a real variety which is great.”
The 32-year-old had one final piece of advice to give which is to any young players that are going around the community with their club or for some of the Blues Academy products that are doing the same as him and that advice is... "Just embrace it because, if you can do something good for someone because of your position, then why wouldn’t you?
"It helps people and the main thing for me is putting smiles on people’s faces purely because of who you are or the club you play for and who wouldn’t want to do that!"