Chief encounters: David Duke on making his ma proud


Street Soccer Scotland's chief executive enjoys sunshine and hanging out with the players, just don't take away his peppermint tea

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4th July 2017 by TFN Guest 0 Comments

What makes a good day at work?

My best days at work are when I get a chance to visit some of the programmes we deliver and to hang out with our players. I love being around the players and watching them play, get along and have some banter. I know what life may be like for some of them, and know that the social aspect of playing football with us can provide a real injection of hope and happiness.

What’s the best thing that’s happened this month?

Hm… is this a Scottish Charity Awards question? Three things, I'm not a big awards fan, but our staff and supporters were really proud of being named Charity of the Year, and it’s a great testament of their hard work and dedication. We also had Lionel Messi send a message of support to Street Soccer players, and our players loved seeing him hold a Street Soccer shirt. Finally, I think every month is good, we are still here working away on a very small budget and we have a great network of people and supporters, so I think we need to have gratitude for that.

What turns you into the office Victor Meldrew?

Hmm, Diva Duke here…. I don’t have caffeine so rely of peppermint tea to get me through, when there is none, it's not a nice place to be!

What’s your favourite sport?

Football of course, but I also love tennis and play when I can.

Would your 16-year-old self be proud of where you are?

Yeah probably, but we can always be better. My guidance teacher said I'd be a mattress tester when I left school (nice guy, eh).

Who were you really supporting in last year’s Homeless World Cup (picture below)?

As the Homeless World Cup was in Glasgow, it's hard not to support all the teams. The Homeless World Cup is truly unique, and its players are playing for so much off the field. They are the real changemakers and show great courage to take the stage. I was also supporting all the fantastic volunteers who helped at the event and the local organising committee were just incredible. We were proud to be a co-host and work alongside Homeless World Cup Foundation, Glasgow Life and Scottish Government.

David Duke with a Scotland player at the 2016 Homeless World Cup in Glasgow

Is Facebook your friend or your enemy?

It's definitely a friend for Street Soccer Scotland as it provides a great platform to tell stories, share programme information and connect with some of the players. I personally don’t use it.

What’s the best book ever written?

I love anything that inspires me or teaches me things. I read a great book recently under recommendation, Doing Good Better by William MacAskill (a young Scot) which explores the effective altruism movement. I think it’s a must read for anyone try to do good.

What are you most proud of?

As a young person, I had challenges, and spent a few years on the streets, my life was chaotic and dangerous and I suppose my mum would have been worried and maybe even embarrassed. So I suppose to turn my life around and create Street Soccer Scotland gave my mum some happiness and I think she was proud before she passed away. 

If the TFN fairy godmother could give you any job in the world, what would it be?

President of the United States, just to get rid of Trump. I'd  then give it back to Obama

What does your perfect weekend look like?

Anything that involves sunshine.

If you were your boss would you like you?

Tough question… I can be a bit crazy with new ideas sometimes, not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing!

Is charity good for society?

I would say important for society, yes, as is social enterprise. In an unequal world, the third sector has a massive positive impact on society every day.

Where will you be in 10 year’s time?

You never can tell…

Which Brian Cox?

Both are pretty impressive in their chosen fields. Maybe the scientist wins on good hair.