The planned over 74s Spring Cup Tournament went ahead on Thursday 14th July. Initially five teams were entering this inaugural tournament, Blackpool FC Senior Seasiders, Bury Relics, Preston North End Senior Whites and Rochdale WFC, together with a combined team from Garstang WFC, Manchester Corinthians and Manchester Senior Citizens.
Unfortunately, we received notification that some players were now unavailable and disappointingly a few that never turned up or let us know that they wouldn’t be attending. This meant that the four teams first mentioned played three twenty minute games in a round robin league. Some of the proposed combined team players were drafted in to cover player shortages in the aforementioned four other teams.
The squads were, Blackpool FC Senior Seasiders – Tom Frattaroli, Ian Jones, Dave Pleasant, Barrie Talbot, Les Turner plus Bernard Power (Manchester Senior Citizens). Bury Relics – Peter Almond, Bob Daniels, Pat Fitzgerald, Dave Morris, Tony Pope, Jerry Shuttleworth and Keiran Tilley. Preston North End Senior Whites – Dave Gillibrand, Allan Macleod, Richard Wilkinson plus Bernard Coonan (Rochdale WFC), Barry Groom (Manchester Senior Citizens) and Barry Whitmore (Manchester Corinthians). Rochdale WFC – Bill Charlton, Steve Colesby, Dave Donald, Stewart Hartley, Douglas Holbrook, John Hudson, Dave Roe and Alan Thompson.
There was some excellent football played by these ageing septuagenarians and it makes you think what any onlookers must have thought. In the six fixtures nine goals were scored by only three players. Dave Roe (Rochdale WFC) 2 goals, Allan Macleod (Preston North End Senior Whites) 3 goals and Golden Boot Winner Bill Charlton (Rochdale WFC) 4 goals.
Rochdale WFC were the winners of this inaugural Spring tournament with some excellent goals scored. Preston North End Senior Whites finished runners up, with Allan Macleod scoring all their goals.
Was the day a success? Only the players can answer that one but it has to be said that all the teams were winners. Imagine looking back when we were all in our 20s and thinking you would still be playing in a football tournament in your mid 70s. That thought would have been ridiculous back in those days but is a reality now for many in walking football.
A special thanks to our excellent referees today, Garry Pearce and Steve Nethercott.
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