THE stories of inmates at HMP Prescoed in Usk - including former Newport County AFC striker Chris Zebroski - form part of a newly published book charting the rehabilitative powers of football.

90 Minutes of Freedom is the new title from Lancashire author Jamie Grundy and delves into an often overlooked side of the beautiful game.

Free Press Series:

(Jamie Grundy Picture:

Mr Grundy began the year-long process of compiling the book back in 2018.

"I’d played against a few prison teams in the past and I knew there was one at HMP Prescoed in Usk but couldn’t find out much about them," he said.

Sporting Heritage told him that they’d be interested in sponsoring the project which meant that Mr Grundy had to be granted research permission from the Ministry of Justice.

"That took a while," he said.


It took about four months to be accepted by the group enough to interview them.

Mr Grundy went to the prison on a Tuesday for training and on a Saturday for matches. Prescoed FC play all their games at home in the Gwent Central League Division 2.

"As with any team, when you spend a bit of time watching them you get invested in them," said Mr Grundy.

The book was then published on September 30, which just so happened to be National Sporting Heritage Day 2019.

The main body of the book is about how football helped the inmates during their time in prison - not only at HMP Prescoed.

Mr Grundy said: "It helped them deal with anxiety and stress and to adjust to prison life – especially for those on long sentences and those moving from closed to open prison.

"One member of the team described it as ‘a taste of normality’ and another that ‘it feels like 90 minutes when you’re no longer in prison’."

Free Press Series:

(Former Newport County AFC striker Chris Zebroski)

One more high-profile former member of Prescoed FC is Chris Zebroski - once of Newport County AFC.

In the book he said: "To get sent to jail had a big impact, a massive wake up call.

"Football in prison, I think it’s a great release.

“A lot of lads, when they couldn’t go to the gym, would get very anxious.

"It’s a good distraction and it makes you feel good about yourself physically."

Mr Grundy stressed that while the inmates "may have made bad life choices, I wanted to get their voices heard and present their stories as they see it".

"It’s not about the offences," he said.

"It’s about looking to the future and about how football can be a rehabilitative thing."

90 Minutes of Freedom is available to purchase now at

Mr Grundy is also holding a book launch at Newport's Le Pub at 7pm tomorrow evening. Free tickets are available at