Dr. Joel Rookwood

Based in Liverpool, where he lectures in Football Studies and runs a Sport Development degree programme at Liverpool Hope University, Joel Rookwood travels the globe watching Liverpool FC, and has reported for Soccerphile on the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, at the 2004 and 2008 European Championships, and on the 2008 Cup of African Nations. A member of the English '92 Club', Joel has a PhD in football fan culture, and is also a qualified coach. Joel has worked on charitable football projects in thirty developing nations spanning six continents.

Euro Liverpool Red Diary

Euro Liverpool Red Diary 2004-2005 - Joel is on the road following Liverpool in Europe in the 2004-2005 season and beyond: AK Grazer (Austria), Olympiakos (Greece), Deportivo La Coruna (Spain), Monaco (France), League Cup Final, Leverkusen, Juventus, Chelsea, Champions League Final 2005

Euro Liverpool Red Diary 2005-2006 - European Super Cup Final....Real Betis, Anderlecht, Chelsea, Benfica, FA Cup Final 2006....

Euro Liverpool Red Diary 2006-2007....PSV Eindhoven, Bordeaux, Galatasaray, Barcelona, PSV again ......Chelsea, Champions League Final 2007

Euro Liverpool Red Diary 2007-2008....FC Porto, Besiktas, Marseille, Inter

Euro Liverpool Red Diary 2008-2009....Marseille, Atletico, PSV Eindhoven, Real Madrid

Euro Liverpool Red Diary 2009-2010....Fiorentina, Lyon, Debreceni

Joel and friend.

Joel (left) and friend at Euro 2012

Sayonara Soccerphile

Joel bids farewell to a decade of writing for Soccerphile that has taken him from Liverpool to Rio and just about everywhere in between.

Olympic Football

The historical importance of the Olympic football tournament - the first World Title.

Euro 2012

Joel visited the (Eastern) European Championships in Poland and Ukraine.

South America 2008

Read Joel's account of his visit to the Bombonera and Maracana stadiums in Argentina and Brazil.

African Cup of Nations 2008

Read Joel's review of the African Cup of Nations 2008 in Ghana.


Joel takes a romantic mid-season break watching Scottish football while pondering the meaning of "Englishness".

Israel, India, Burma, Thailand & Australia

Joel continued his charitable work through football getting around the world in forty days.

Reclaim The Kop

RTK campaign - how the Reclaim The Kop campaign began. The Kop Charter - The Kop principles.

World Cup 2006

World Cup 2006 tour - on the road in Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic for World Cup 2006. See the photographs here.

Israel & Palestine

A Football for Peace initiative in Israel and Palestine.


Teams4U in Liberia - British soccer coaches help children in Liberia escape the ravages of war.

Club World Championship

Club World Championship - The competition in Japan will boast some of the finest footballing talent on the planet. Millions will surely flock to television screens to see the likes of Traore, Josemi and Crouch in action - sporting icons and good looking lads to boot. It's a marketer's dream.


Russia - This is the story of the continental tour with a difference. Once I had arrived in Russia, I spent my first week getting eaten alive by mosquitoes while refurbishing an aging swimming pool for a kid's camp, just east of Moscow. The team, which consisted of a dozen lads from Liverpool of which I was the youngest, then ran some football coaching clinics for local children, with the local media keeping a watchful eye.


Belarus - I spent just over a month in Belarus, mostly working as a football coach with young people in deprived areas. My role included helping to run a kid's camp, organising an Operation Christmas Child shoebox distribution and working in local prisons, both male and female.


Albania - Albania was a true culture shock; it was simply like nowhere else I've ever seen.


Ukraine - Having spent the previous three months coaching football to young people in Russia, Belarus and Albania, it was time for the final leg of the journey, and what would prove to be a memorable month in the Ukraine.

Beslan School Tragedy

Beslan School Tragedy - Recently the Russian government issued a request for Samaritan's Purse to visit Beslan, following the horrific terrorist attack at a middle school in the Vladikavkaz suburb in Russia’s North Ossetia region. So earlier this month I was part of a team of football coaches, doctors, counsellors and translators who travelled to this devastated community.

OASIS Children's Soccer Charity

OASIS Children's Soccer Charity - Soccerphile’s Joel Rookwood spent the summer running football coach education programmes in Africa, visiting different projects for street children in Uganda, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. This is his account of what happened…

Euro Liverpool Red Diary 2003-2004

Euro Liverpool Red Diary 2003-2004 - Joel reports from Liverpool's UEFA Cup games in Slovenia (Olimpija Ljubljana), Romania (Steaua Bucharest), Bulgaria (Levski Sofia via Ferencvaros and Partisan Belgrade) and finally France (Olympique Marseille).

Euro 2004

A Rough Guide To Euro 2004 - Just when you’re looking for something to fill the ninety days that fall awkwardly in between domestic football seasons, God reminds us of his bounty, and delivers us from boredom. His summer gift to us? None other than international football…

Images of Euro 2004

Images of Euro 2004 - Joel Rookwood's images of Euro 2004.

Northern Ireland v Spain Euro Cup Qualifier

Northern Ireland v Spain Euro Cup Qualifier - For those of us struggling to come to terms with football's sudden inaccessibility, international competition was thankfully at hand to ensure that quitting cold turkey was not a necessity.

Liverpool Red Diary 2002-2003

Liverpool Red Diary 2002-2003 - Joel saw EVERY Liverpool game home and away in the 2002-2003 season.

Joel Rookwood Salutes Japan

Joel Rookwood Salutes Japan - We crawled off the plane at Tokyo airport in reasonably good spirits, having caught the latter part of Senegal's victory over France whilst in Copenhagen. As we stood waiting to collect our luggage I remember thinking to myself how little I knew about Japanese culture.

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