GMWFL 2022 Review & 2023 Preview
With Covid relatively under control we were once again back in business running the Spring and Autumn leagues in three age categories.
In the Spring League we had twenty three teams in the over 60s, nineteen teams in the over 65s and ten teams in the over 70s, a total of fifty two teams. The winners and runners up in the various age categories are below.
In July we held an over 74s round robin cup competition. Four teams entered and Rochdale WFC were the winners with Preston North End Senior Whites runners up. The other two teams were Blackpool FC Senior Seasiders and Bury Relics. In 2023 we will make this an over 75s cup tournament. As we all age, there is the possibility of an over 75s league in a year or two, it will obviously start small but who knows how it will grow.
In September we held the annual the Martin Dawson Memorial Trophy with eighteen teams competing. This popular and prestigious tournament seems to have increased entries every year. Thirteen teams from the GMWFL and five guest teams participated. The teams who had entered in previous years were Blackburn Rovers WFC, Halifax WFC and Sheffield WFC. The two new teams entering were Leeds Titans and North Ferriby WFC.
As in previous years once again it turned out to be a great days football, played in the correct spirit and Martin’s widow Maureen presented the trophies. The 2022 winners were Club Kingsmaid with Carlisle SOA runners up. North Ferriby WFC won the Memorial Plate while Bolton Wanderers came runners up. The full report is HERE.
The Autumn season saw twenty four teams in the over 60s, sixteen teams in the over 65s and twelve teams in the over 70s, a total once again of fifty two teams. The winners and runners up in the various age categories are below.
We recruited players for the GMWFL Representative sides in the over 60s, 65s, 70s and even 75s age categories and an over 50s ladies team in 2023. The intention is to compete in Inter League tournaments and friendlies. The 60s, 65s and 70s took part in the WFLA Inter League Cup in 2022 and we had a successful day with the GMWFL winning the over 65s and over 70s age categories.
In November our two 65s teams travelled to the Isle of Man to play their National teams, the trip marred by one of our players suffering a cardiac arrest, thankfully now on his way to a full recovery. The report on the 2022 tournaments and friendlies is HERE.
Walking football has changed so many lives and must have saved the NHS millions of pounds with the older generation becoming far fitter and active into the Autumn of their years. It’s health benefits both physically and mentally cannot be understated. Sadly we lost a few players in 2022 but that’s to be expected as we all age.
Thanks to all our referees, who do a marvelous job, sometimes under difficult circumstances but always remaining calm and under control. For those who critise referees, try doing it yourself you would soon throw away the whistle.
Also special thanks to Matt Howells who has taken over team registration on Thursdays, our Chairman Paul Gardner, Fixtures Secretary & Treasurer Steve Colesby and Garry Pearce our Disciplinary & Referees Appointments Officer.
There is much to look forward to in 2023, the Spring league starting in March where existing clubs are entering teams in new age categories. Wakefield Strollers will be new to the over 65s league, while Burnley Clarets and Rochdale AFC Striders are both entering teams in the over 70s league. Then of course in September we have the Martin Dawson Memorial Trophy, where we expect even more teams to enter this year.
We now have fifty four teams in the Spring league, twenty three in the over 60’s, seventeen in the over 65’s and fourteen in the over 70s. The revised tables for the Spring league are on the Fixtures, Results & Tables dropdown menu. The over 70s age category certainly continues to grow and we will be holding an over 75s Cup Tournament this year, hopefully a round robin affair spread over two session in Spring and Autumn.
In the WFLA National Cup twelve of our clubs will be represented at various age categories. Blackpool FC Senior Seasiders, Bolton Arena, Bury Relics, Carlisle SOA, Club Kingsmaid, Fleetwood Town Flyers, Garstang, Manchester Corinthians, Preston North End Senior Whites, Ribble Valley WFC, Salcom and Wakefield Waderers are competing as part of 237 teams from across England and Wales.
Our over 60s, 65s and over 70s representative teams will once again be taking part in the WFLA Inter League Cup, where our 65s and 70s won their age categories in 2022. Additionally we have entered our over 50s ladies in that age category, as we have some excellent female players in our ranks.
Hopefully our League Champions from the three age categories will also compete in the WFLA League Champions Cup. Last year Manchester Corinthians won the over 65s, Bury Relics won the over 70s and Rochdale AFC Strollers came runners up in both those age categories.
Here’s to a great 2023 and good health to all connected to the GMWFL.
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