Sing Your Hearts Out!! Giving Peace a Chance
Graham Smedley has created a project in the Landmark Self Expression and Leadership Program with the goal of getting people to sing John Lennon's give peace a chance before football games. This unusual idea has been getting some attention in his home town of Swindon England.
Sing your hearts out By Matt Jackson
Graham Smedley who wants fans to sing Give Peace A Chance
GRAHAM Smedley thinks there is too much violence and hatred around, so he wants football fans to give peace a chance.
The former RAF clerk from Old Town has set up a website to encourage fans across the country to chant John Lennon's famous mantra before kick-off.
The 44-year-old has been attending a self-expression and leadership course run by Landmark Education in London, and he says the peace project is the most challenging part of it.
He said: "I admit from the beginning that it sounds a bit crazy, but the course is focussed more on bringing people out of themselves and contributing to the community.
"There is so much news about gun and knife violence so I wanted to create something that would be purely positive.
"My main interest has always been football so this seemed to be the way to channel it."
From his offices in Wood Street, Mr Smedley is hoping to create a wave of enthusiasm for non-confrontational support.
He said: "Other participants on the course have set up blood donor groups, but my aim is to have fans sing All we are saying is give peace a chance'. I have been involved with football for many years and have been to the County Ground plenty of times, so I know the kind of aggression that builds up
"Imagine if fans, instead of threatening to kill each other, concentrated on supporting their team at the beginning of a game.
"It would have a great knock-on effect through the rest of the day."
Graham took up the course after his return from employment in the Middle East.
He said: "I wouldn't call myself a peace activist or a political person, but I was working for British Aerospace during the first Gulf War and it made me question what I was doing. I thought there must be a more positive way to work and live, and the course has shown just how true that is.
"My wife Claire started the last course with me, and when we began I had no intention whatsoever of trying for a family.
"But by the end I had grown in self-confidence and now we are happy and trying for a baby."