A former marine electrical engineer who left Falmouth Docks in 2004 for a new life which led to him coaching football in America, was back in town recently, with ten young players from one of his his Texan teams.
Antony Penna was born in Redruth, but moved to Falmouth when he was 16 and took up an apprenticeship at Falmouth Docks. He stayed at the docks until 2001 when he left to follow his passion of coaching youth football.
He has been coaching since 1993, starting at St Day and later moving to Falmouth Under 15s and eventually to Plymouth Argyle.
In 2001 he first went to America to coach for Challenger Sports British Soccer camps and spent the next three years flipping to and from the States while he studied for a degree in applied sport science and coaching in Plymouth which enabled him to secure a visa to work in America.
After graduating, Antony went back to the States and founded Kernow Storm FC in Texas in 2004 and is now its director of soccer operations and technical director of coaching. He lives in Waxahachie, Texas with his life, Jamie, who hails from Louisiana.
Antony returned to Falmouth earlier this month with a group of girls who play for Kernow Storm FC and they were invited to a pasty lunch hosted by the town's mayor and mayoress, Grenville and June Chappel.
Even after all these years, Antony, 40, cannot believe his luck. "It all happened by accident and I ended up in the States," he said. "I love it as I get to coach all day. Who would have thought getting a group of kids together in St Day would lead to me ending up here? It all snowballed and before I knew it I was coaching the youth at Argyle and then in the States.
"I will retire to Cornwall, though, I miss all my friends and family. I did not leave England because I hated England, I left because these opportunities came forward."
There are other things Antony misses. "The biggest thing I miss is not being able to walk to the shops, to the town or the beach," he said. "Where I live you have got to get in a car and drive everywhere. I miss the way of life, but not the weather."