My health conditions include epilepsy, diabetes and high cholesterol. I started playing walking football in 2015 when I was around 13 stone and a little overweight. I started at Glossop, then I played competitive walking football which I enjoyed very much for a couple of years.
I gave up competitive games for health reasons but still played at Curzon Ashton and Denton. Walking football has helped me to control my conditions. I am healthier now than I was and my weight is down to just under 12 stone and I’m very happy. I play with some great lads Tuesdays and Thursdays at Denton. I have also played in the GMWF league and the Over 65’s knockout competitions at Heywood.
I am also a member of the committee at Tameside Striders so if there is a time I cannot play our Secretary/Treasurer often gives me something to do. Walking football has changed my life in more ways than one. My health conditions are under control. I really would not know what I would be doing without walking football. If I cannot make it one week I get very upset. We also arrange social activities such as dining out as a group and we share a great camaraderie.”
David Wilson (Tameside Striders)
Through my links with Blackpool FC Community Trust I was introduced to walking football just over 4 years ago as part of an Age UK Well-Being Programme meant to last for 6 weeks encouraging over 50’s to get off the couch and do something invigorating without needing to become a gym-bunny.
Having suffered a heart attack at the age of 49 (15 years ago) and undergone a quad bypass operation, this seemed the ideal way to help regain fitness and re-discover a few skills once possessed. Little did I know that this brilliant version of the beautiful game would become such a major part of my senior “retired” life.
We quickly developed our own Senior Seasider’s Club competing at various age group levels travelling around the whole country. As a goalkeeper I am regularly called on to play for the 50’s team as our “youth keeper” still works and for the 60’s, 65’s and 70’s as no one else is mad enough to dive around on surfaces of variable quality.
Steve Hyde (AFC Blackpool Senior Seasiders)
I’ve been involved with football for nearly all my 66 years, either playing, managing or supporting. I’ve been playing normal 5/6 a-side now for about 15 years since retiring from 11 a-side, but after having a double hernia operation, nothing to do with football, I struggled to get my fitness back and thought that’s it football’s over!
I then bumped into an ex colleague and he asked me to try walking football. I was a little sceptical but thought ok I’ll give it a go. What an eye opener, never in a million years would I have thought it so enjoyable, with all abilities, playing and training on the same pitch.
Since then I play walking football twice a week and funnily enough this has helped me return to 5/6 a-side. I have improved my fitness, passing and positional play and feel I have turned the clock back to my younger days, in my head anyway! I have met many new friends all with the same goal as me, to live a longer, better life and walking football will definitely help me and them achieve our aims.
The Greater Manchester Walking Football League, where my club Third Space Bolton play, is a strict no running, no contact league which gives everyone of any ability a chance to play and the league should be congratulated on their achievements.
Pete Hampson (Third Space Seniors WFC)