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Footballers

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The Footballers are the oldest gang in the Playground, inhabiting the Football Pitch and ruled by two Captains. They entered into an eternal alliance with the Midget Empire in June 2006, and as the Football Pitch remains a definable location in the Playground there is no reason to believe that the gang has disbanded since the fall of the Midget Empire.

History

The Footballers are known to have existed since the opening of the school. They willingly joined the new nation of Rushymia founded by Ferengool in October 1995, but rebelled against his successor Billy in June or July 1996 over his persecution of Vapourism.

Although Billy initially planned to put down the rebellion, he recognised their independence in September 1997 in return for being crowned King of Rushymia by his predecessor Ferengool. However, this coincided with him reversing the persecution of Vapourism and instead ruling as a theocratic tyrant. His popularity plummiting, in December 1997 Billy decided to reconquer the Football Pitch to prove to the Rushymians that he was still a capable leader. Captain Alex led the defence of the Footballers, who defeated Billy's army and made Alex the new King.

The Football Pitch became an important province of Alex's Rushymia, supplying elite troops to the Rushymian military. As with the Quietarians, the strength and geographical location of the Footballers meant that they had survived the turmoil which followed the fall of Rushymia in September 2000 effectively intact by the time that the Midgets entered the Playground two years later.

The Footballers were the only large gang to never be conquered by the Midget Empire. In June 2006, Midget Master Jonathan managed to temporarily get himself as one Captain and his co-ruler Commander Thomas as the other. They convinced the Referee and also the owner of the ball (both former members of the Word Life Gang) to declare with them an eternal alliance with the Midget Empire.

Culture

The culture of the Footballers was based - as their name suggests - entirely around the game of football. The Footballers would divide into two teams, each led by a Captain selected by popular acclamation. The Captains would then (ideally) agree on a person to be referee - the referee would have absolute authority over the game being played, but the Captains would lead the Footballers as a gang. The owner of the ball used in the game also held a great deal of influence.

Footballer Vapourism, the superstition in its oldest known form, was held almost exclusively by the Footballers, as the only Rushymian gang to not accept the teachings of Ferengool and convert to Ferengoolan Vapourism. However, there was no known animosity between the two "denominations", with the Footballers rebelling against King Billy due to him persecuting other Vapourists. Although perhaps the most devout followes of Vapourism (excepting the Disciples of Ferengool) during the time of Rushymia, by the end of the Midget Empire there were very few Footballers who retained the superstition, leading to an active attempt by Midget Master Jonathan to promote (although he himself never adopted) the superstition to preserve Rushymian culture.

Due to the active nature of the Footballers' main pasttime, great value was placed by them upon physical strength and bravery. Some aspects of "football culture" were adopted, with football chants often being used.