Montreal entrepreneur and photographer Gildas Messan Awuye is proud to announce the launch of “Football Saved My Life”, an art initiative aimed at promoting football while raising money to help make the game more accessible.

Through artistic endeavors and collaborations from around the globe, Football Saved My Life will raise funds to support young footballers as they follow their dreams to play at a competitive level.

Growing up in a modest immigrant family, I didn’t always have the means to play organized football“, said Gildas. “I was lucky to have been recruited by a coach at age 10 who did everything he could to recruit me and even assured me that my registration would be taken care of. Now, I want to give back to the community that helped shape the man I am today, through my passion for football and art.”

For its inaugural project, Football Saved My Life and Gildas have announced a collaboration with Montreal’s Ringleaders Football Club. The project called FSML0001 is a celebration of Canadian football culture through the Ringleaders. This collaboration features a special 300-page photo book, carefully curated by Gildas through his time playing for the Montreal club, as well as a third jersey.

I want to thank Gildas for this precious and meticulously curated book,” said Ringleaders founder Angelo Destounis. “I’m a very nostalgic and romantic being. Gildas did something I could never do. He captured the moments of the people I love the most.

Taking the form of a photo journal, FSML0001 is an account of Gildas’ journey as a Ringleader himself. Highlighting the people he met along the way and the places they’ve traveled to for the love of football. It’s a football story, but it’s also much more. It’s a story about how an amateur football club saved his life.

The FSML Photo Book is available for purchase on A special Collector’s Edition, which includes a single-use camera featuring Art by J. Arthur’s signature doodle artwork throughout, is also available for purchase. Inspired by fan-style jersey culture from the late 90s, the F.S.M.L x R.F.C 22/23 third jersey celebrates the art of bootlegs while paying tribute to the members of the Ringleaders Football Club — both past and present — that have played a role in making the club what it is today. The third jersey is set to release on Thursday, December 15th at 10: 00 am ET online on

Football Saved my Life will donate 16% of every purchase made to organizations that facilitate access to competitive football for young football players — no matter how far they want to take it — to experience the joys of football.