“Why should a football club have a chaplain? What would a chaplain do?” asked Watford and future England manager Graham Taylor to John Boyers. Through a series of “God ordained” circumstances John became the Chaplain for Graham Taylor and the Watford Football Club where he provided spiritual and pastoral advice and support to the players and staff during their amazing rise to the top league in England in the period 1977 onwards. He was asked to move up to Manchester in September 1992, to be Chaplain to Manchester United.
John had stepped forward in faith to begin SCORE in 1990/1991 (a UK based Sports Chaplaincy program) which now works across the UK and seeks to resource over 200 ministers who serve local sports clubs as chaplains.He now has a more international role with SCORE but still serves as the Chaplain for the Manchester United Football Club.
John has traveled extensively as a “Sports Chaplain,” including to the Vancouver Olympics. He has written a fascinating perspective on life and the world of football in “Beyond the Final Whistle”. He currently lives in Manchester with his wife Anne, whom he met at the Christian Union during his college days. They have two grown sons: Andrew and Jonathan.
You can find out more about John’s past and current travels as a “Sports Chaplain” and learn more about John and his work at: http://www.sportschaplaincy.org.uk
John was born and grew up in San Diego, California. He fell in love with soccer in high school under the influence of his best friend who was from England. John played in high school and later in college for UCSD (72-75). He played on the first Athletes-in-Action soccer team; helped start Sports Life in its infancy and subsequently played on the first Seahorse soccer team for Missionary Athletes International.
While a missionary to the country of Uruguay in the early 90s, John played two years for Club Atlético Juventud de Colonia (then in the First Division of the Interior of Uruguay) as a goalkeeper. John is also a writer, having finished his first book, Righters Block, in 2009 with Crossbooks Publishing.
He currently is the Pastor of Education and Worship at the Southeast Baptist Church in Salt Lake City, Utah. With almost 30 years of pastoral ministry experience, he also serves as the chaplain for Real Salt Lake (2009 MLS Cup Champions). John continues to play regularly at his advanced age (56) and his love for soccer is only superseded by his love for Christ and for his wife and children.
You can read excerpts and purchase his book Righter’s Block: The Challenge of Doing Right Even When It Hurts
In his new role as a hospice chaplain in Tucson, Arizona – John was voted National Chaplain of the Year for CURO Health Services!