Stories From the Ground: JUDAS FC

Jonathan Tomlinson



What does it take to become known in the seven-a-side footballing world? To win the league every year and ironing out any of the competition? To have an ex-professional gunning it down the wing owning anyone that comes in their path? Well, sadly JUDAS FC have neither of these, but the East London based amateur team went viral last year when videos appeared of them celebrating their cup win in style, when they hired out an open top bus and paraded around central London. The club have since been well known around London, becoming the team that everyone wants to win against. We headed down to one of their games to cheer them on and see if they lived up to expectations.

Talk us through the name.

Our centre half, Micky, originally played on a 7aside team with his mates from uni and a few of us used to help out with ringers when they were short. In true Judas fashion, Micky decided to ditch his uni mates for new pastures, setting up his own team in the same league, recruiting friends from up north to fill out the squad. Once his uni mates got wind of this, they labelled Micky a traitor, and Judas FC was aptly named.

How did you all meet?

Most of us actually hail from Newcastle and Sunderland and a lot of the lads all played together at school. Thanks to our impressive East London scouting network (friends of friends), we’ve seen a number of top players join the club in the last few years, but the core of the squad remains Geordie & Mackem. Special mention here though to our handsome French number 10, Jean-Joseph, who we met at a house party in Hackney.

What’s the best thing about playing for JUDAS?

The best thing about playing for Judas FC is the camaraderie and togetherness of the squad, both on and off the pitch. As amateur players working 9-5 throughout the week, playing together on Monday and Wednesday nights has become something really special that we all look forward to every week. The club has become a huge part of all our lives, and it’s been amazing to see old friends reconnect and new friendships being formed.

Do you have any rituals before the game? 

In terms of a pregame ritual, we’ve got a few lads who like to get into kit a full 12 hours before kickoff. Our post-game ritual is a little more consistent though, and win/lose/draw you can find us having a few pints at the Shacklewell Arms followed by a Turkish Mangal on Kingsland Road and a little dance at Ridley Road Market bar. Wednesdays are the new Saturday, you heard it here first!

If you could have one famous player in your team, who would it be and why? 

Our dream teammate would be Gaizka Mendieta. Not only was he one of the most technically gifted midfielders of our generation, he’s now turned his hand to the music industry and we’ve seen him DJ live on multiple occasions in East London. Having spent 5 years playing for Middlesbrough, we’ve got no doubt that he’d fit in seamlessly, and hope to see his wand of a right foot in a Judas sock soon.

What makes this team different from others? 

Judas FC takes things very seriously on the pitch, but I think what makes us unique vs other amateur teams is our off-the-pitch activity. As well as our official pie partnership with Watford FC’s Willy’s Pies, we’ve got commercial agreements in place with the iconic Shacklewell Arms pub and Parisienne boxer short brand Petit Pont. Recently we also enjoyed a ‘viral moment’, as our open top bus parade videos reached over 6 million people on social media and saw us feature on Sky Sports, ESPN, Talksport, and Soccer Bible.

Any big plans for JUDAS FC in 2022? 

Judas FC have some huge plans for 2022. We’re collaborating with a designer on a limited edition kit that will launch in January, and after a successful away trip to Cologne last year, we have big plans to take this Judas rocket ship global! Since our viral bus parade we’ve been challenged by teams around the world, and have high hopes to travel to Seoul, Oaxaca, Turin, Paris and Stockholm before the end of 2022.

What’s the ultimate dream for JUDAS FC?

The ultimate dream for Judas FC is to inspire grassroots clubs around the world. Whether you’re a Champions League team or an amateur 7-a-side team in East London, if you work hard collectively as a group, you deserve to celebrate your achievements and experience football like the pros. Grassroots football is growing, brands are realising how important it is, and we want to keep showing teams that if you want something you can go and get it! FROM GRASSROOTS TO GLORY BABY!

Follow JUDAS FC here.

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