'Dreams can come true'

The freestylers from the hit film 'In the Hands of the gods' will soon be in Dubai for the Budweiser International Cup 6x6 Tournament. One of them, Paul Wood - 'Woody' - chats with City Times about his rise to fame and the imminent trip to the Bud Cup in Dubai

By David Light (Staff Reporter)

Published: Mon 31 Mar 2008, 10:30 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:38 PM

THE CAPTIVATING freestylers of the hit film 'In the Hands of the gods' will be coming to Dubai to participate in the Budweiser International Cup 6v6 Tournament at the Jebel Ali Centre of Excellence on April 4.

Jeremy Lynch, Paul Wood and Danny Robinson, who were catapulted to fame on the release of their film in Britain in January, will wow the crowds with their gravity- defying skills whilst 32 local amateur teams will be competing to take home the cup and the ultimate prize of playing at Manchester United's home ground Old Trafford in the finals on May 5.

Budweiser Brand Manager for the Middle East, Susanna Kurian, states, "The Bud Cup is pure fantasy football for local teams who are given the real chance to play at Old Trafford - the 'Theatre of Dreams'. It is the biggest football prize imaginable. The freestyler stars add a new dimension and offer another reason to come and watch the Bud Cup and see some of the most amazing ball skills, as well as a very competitive tournament."

The football stars' trip to promote the Bud Cup coincides with the Dubai release date of their movie. 'In the Hands of the gods' tells the story of five football fanatics (including Jeremy, Paul and Danny) hitchhiking to Argentina in search of Diego Maradona. Travelling light and with little cash, the freestylers busk their way there using nothing but their ball skills.

The freestylers will launch the DVD at Virgin Megastore in Mall of the Emirates, on April 3. The Middle East launch follows the Leicester Square premiere of the movie in January 2008 where it received much critical acclaim. They will also make appearances at Nike (Sun and Sand Sports) outlets around town.

One of the freestylers, Paul Wood (Woody) spoke to us about his rise to fame and his imminent trip to the Emirates. "This isn't the first time I've been there," he said, "I've been invited to perform at Abu Dhabi Mall and Mall of the Emirates before. I really loved it in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and could see myself living there one day." From an early age it was Woody's dream to be a professional football player. When he was younger, he did not have the privilege of having a football like most kids so he used other things to practice his skills.

Guided by a video by Diego Maradona, he would use fruit such as oranges to better his skills. In 2003 he entered a Nike Freestyle competition in London's Earl Court where he was a semi finalist out of 32,000 freestylers. His profile grew bigger and bigger as he performed in various promotions, exhibitions, advertising and television work. Woody has created his own soccer school called Woody's Freestyle Academy which has allowed him to teach young kids ways to advance their skills as footballers and tricksters an opportunity he would have loved as a young boy. He has also created a league for under-privileged children in the hope that he may give them a better start in life.

"From doing the film I have found that dreams can come true. That is what I got out of it. If you want it enough and work hard you can achieve anything." Woody and his friends are now invited all over the world to showcase their talents. "It's been a great journey since the film has been out. I've been invited to film premieres in England and football events everywhere. We've been requested to promote the Bud Cup which is a great honour and we can't wait to get there."

Event details

What: Budweiser International Cup 6v6 Tournament featuring the freestylers from 'In the Hands of the gods'

When: April 4

Where: Jebel Ali Centre of Excellence, 9am

Event details

What: DVD launch of 'In the Hands of gods'

When: April 3

Where: Virgin Megastore, Mall of the Emirates

You too could play in an exhibition match with Woody, Jeremy and Danny. Just upload a video of your freestyle skills to www.budcupdubai.com and maybe you will be selected

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