Football is the most popular game played in the UK but there can be a dark side to the game, especially with organised gangs that seem to look forward to matches for violence instead of the football. It’s refreshing to hear the testimony of Mark Alleway who managed to walk away from this lifestyle without repercussions. God was clearly at work in Mark’s life!
An inevitable path into violence
Mark, a Chelsea fan, grew up going to matches. At a young age, he could see the attention and respect that came with violence. Being surrounded by this lifestyle and even the ‘glamour’ of it, it was inevitable that he aspired to be part of it. By 19 years old he was accepted as part of the gang. He found a place where people were loyal, where they looked out for each other.
Every week Mark was involved in seeking out rival gangs to fight with and there are no rules in these fights with people using their weapons of choice. Being sentenced to prison was a crossroads moment, but he saw no way out of this perpetual lifestyle! He had no friends outside of football and Mark even considered suicide. Once you’re in the gang, with the identity, loyalty, and freedom, you need a miracle to escape.
The power of prayer
Mark’s mum prayed for him every day – it can not be overstated how powerful this would have been in Mark’s life. It’s no surprise that over the years Mark’s heart softened.
The crossroads moment came after being beaten at a match, on his train seat for the journey home was a tract. This tract had the following verse:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)
Mark thought God was telling him something so needed to give Him a chance. He bought a Bible and started studying who Jesus was, the claims of Jesus Christ, and the person of Jesus Christ.
Even though no one had ever left the gang before, he knew he needed to break. Amazingly this happened all of a sudden with no repercussions. This was an astounding answer to his mum’s prayers. You can see God’s protective hand over Mark’s path, even to the extent that he’s been able to go back to the gang to talk about Jesus!
Jesus is our Saviour
From investigating the person of Jesus and his claims, Mark knew that Jesus was real. Jesus rescued Mark from a lifestyle that people rarely break free from.
This is a great testimony that can give hope to many. Whatever situation you’re in, maybe you’re in trouble and don’t know a way out, Jesus is waiting for you. Jesus will take the weight of any burdens from you, just as he did with Mark. You only have to give him a chance.
If you are a believer and have family or friends that you’ve been praying for, never give up! Keep praying and trusting in the Lord. Feel free to share any of our articles and blogs that might help them on their path.
Jesus is the King of Kings & Lord of Lords, and he’s coming back! In the meantime there are many people who need to know that Jesus is real just as Mark discovered.
Perhaps his testimony could help you or someone you know…