Greater Manchester Walking Football League
The Greater Manchester Walking Football League was launched initially to provide regular competitive football for the many over 60’s walking footballers. Players in their 60’s and 70’s are often giving away 10 years or more to younger players in normal Over 50’s competitions and this doesn’t create a level playing field.
Generally the younger players are fitter, more energetic, have better balance, are less likely to have replacement hips and knees, don’t suffer as many injuries and recover quicker when they are injured.
With Greater Manchester having the most walking football clubs in any area of the UK, and the sport being the fastest growing activity for the older generation, setting up a league in the area was a natural progression.
Seeing the demand for this category of walking football, I decided to enquire if teams were interested in playing in an over 60’s league format. The response was encouraging and the first to embrace the idea was Paul Gardner of Rochdale Link4Life.
Paul and his colleague Barry Woodburn are now two of the three administrators of the league. Paul, with his wealth of experience in organising and running tournaments is a great asset and Barry’s work behind the scenes and on match days is much valued.
Andrew Whitaker, the Football Development Officer – Disability and Inclusion, from the Lancashire FA has also been a great help in getting the Greater Manchester Walking Football League affiliated and sanctioned to that organisation. Thanks Andrew.
The league has been developed to provide a regular opportunity for teams across Greater Manchester, Lancashire and its bordering counties to compete in sporting competition and enjoy great social inter action.
The Greater Manchester Walking Football League will run in seasons, Spring and Autumn, with each season consisting of 4 fixture dates. All fixture dates will take place on the new 3G facility at Heywood Sports Village, West Starkie Street, Heywood, OL10 4TW on the first Friday of each month.
Looking to the future, if the demand is evident we may possibly, and eventually run over 65’s and even over 70’s divisions.
A big vote of thanks is given to all the teams who entered the initial league season started in February 2017, AFC Blackpool Senior Seasiders, AFC Blackpool Very Senior Seasiders, Bolton Wanderers, Chadderton FC WF, Fleetwood Town Flyers, Maccabi Old Codgers, Nash Amblers, Rochdale Striders, Rochdale AFC Strollers and Vintage Celtic. We hope you are all convinced you made the right decision in being inaugural members of the league, have enjoyed the competition, and of course, will return for future seasons.