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Always good to have the GMWFL back and great to see how much it’s grown. The standard is so high, now anyone can beat anyone, it’s fantastic stuff.
It will soon be upon us and this will be Winstanley Walkers FC third season. The only negative is that we didn’t join this great set-up sooner.
Thanks for this report Bill, and once again to everyone involved in running this quite amazing league. Looking forward to the Spring season already, not least for some better weather!
Well done, very nice achievement, greetings from Polish walking footballers.
Just echoing the comments already given. The league has been brilliant for us and we’ve enjoyed the competition and camaraderie in equal measures. Looking forward to Spring when eight of our over 65s graduate to the 70s, thus we’ll have three teams in the league.
Again, many thanks to Bill, Paul, Steve and the GMWFL team for another brilliant season at Heywood. The strength of the competition gets better and better each time and the friendships made will last for ever.
Always well worth the trek over the Grane Road for the matches (even when we have a foggy whiteout !).
Keep up the good work.
Another cracking comprehensive report on the Autumn Season.
Know it takes a considerable amount of work and effort to organise the league but to do all these ancillary bits and pieces is also a major task so many thanks to all who are involved.
All the players and committee at Wakefield Wanderers and Wakefield Whites would like to thank Bill, Paul, Steve, Barry, Garry and the officials for another great season and to all our opponents and friends at Heywood a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year.
Tremendous amount of work put into that report Bill, as always. Rochdale Walking Football Club would like to thank everyone who helps to make this league one of the very best in the country, it’s a pleasure to be involved.
Congratulations to everyone who participates in this great competition, especially of course the winners!
Looking forward to the Spring season already. Best wishes to all for the festive season, and a Happy New Year from everyone at The Dale.
On behalf of everyone at Rochdale AFC Walking Football Club, thanks for this report Bill, and all of the hard work you, Steve, Paul and Barry do for us, also including the referees. Your comments about the 60’s 1st Division are spot on, it’s such a competitive league.
I am at Heywood every Thursday, either playing or watching and the standard of football has to be applauded. There’s a huge amount of excitement too, if anyone is in any doubt just pop along! It’s great to be part of the GMWFL, long may it continue.
Another great summary of the action in a cracking competitive and well organised league.
Thanks to all who contribute and do the organisation – know there are always challenges and you react and resolve issues seamlessly.
As of Wednesday 16 November Ian is conscious, off sedation, off the ventilator and responsive. Debra is hoping to get Ian back to Bolton hospital this weekend.
We managed to complete the weekend and I think all participants will want to do it again, home and away.
Our best wishes go to Ian for a speedy tecovery
Great report, Bill, on a superb but sobering weekend. The football was mostly enjoyable, as was the team camaraderie, but all this was overshadowed by Ian’s collapse. Thank goodness someone was on hand to administer first aid and CPR. What a topman he was in awkward circumstances. He deserves a medal.
All our thoughts from Blackpool FC Senior Seasiders are out there for Ian’s family and hope his early return to Bolton can be arranged.
Another visit to the island should be arranged in 2023 and hopefully we can reciprocate as hosts very soon. Thanks to all the travellers for the weekend. Well done Isle of Man FC as well.
Great to see the GMWFL back up and running and all the teams and players back enjoying their football in a fantastic league, run very professionally. On a personal note I had to miss the first session because of work commitments but I’m going to be available for October and November if selected. Thanks to Bill, Paul and all the people who put this great league together, plus the commitment of the referees. Mick T, Manchester Corinthians
We really enjoyed the competition, hard close games, pleased we got to the final and the best team won. Looking forward to Thursday except the 2 hour drive.
Excellent tournament, well run, good refereeing with an excellent standard of walking football, all you could ask for and decent weather to boot.
So well organised at Heywood they can even sort the weather. A great tournament once again and a fitting tribute.
Thanks for organising a great day for us oldies. Congrats to Rochdale for being deserving winners and to Bill Charlton for winning the golden boot. I thought the games were played in the right spirit and the referees set the tone for a very enjoyable day. I was disappointed that a couple of our players were late withdrawals but thanks to Bernard and the two Barry’s for guesting, we competed well. The strength of this league is the refereeing I feel, plus the organisation by the committee.
An excellent day of good football and well organised as usual. Congratulations to Rochdale for winning the trophy.
Also to Bill for winning the “golden boot.” It was refereed well as usual. Can I also say thank you to all the other players for making it a great day.
Another excellent season for a quality league with consistent, clear and concise officials and a dedicated and top class team group of organisers. Some super opponents and terrific games in the 4 rounds played. Many thanks from all at Wakefield.
Another excellent series of games at all 3 age groups. What a magnificent League we are all a part of.
Well done and thanks to the administrators (Bill, Steve, Paul, Garry and Barry) for organising the matches and facilities and a big round of applause to the officials, without whom we could never play any of the games. They have a thankless task really.
Already looking forward to the Autumn Season and the new division with some new teams to play against.
What a fantastic report and what a fantastic league the GMWFL is, growing bigger, better and stronger each year in all age groups. May it long continue. Thanks to everyone involved, those that run it, those that play in it and those that referee in it.
The GMWFL just goes from strength to strength, lots of people now getting something out of it either playing, refereeing, running clubs or just watching. Fantastic effort from all involved,
Great report as usual, what a fantastic advertisement for walking football the GMWFL is. Run very well by like minded people and played in the right manner and attitude with some great players at all the age groups. A big thanks to all involved and of course a special mention to the referees, without them we couldn’t play the game we all love. See you all again very soon.
On behalf of my club Winstanley Walkers who made our first appearance in the GMWFL over 60’s last Wednesday, I would like to say how impressed our team were with the whole experience, from the organisation to the ref’s and to our three opponents, who played the game in the right way. I have played in the league previously for Manchester Corinthians so knew what to expect, roll on April 20th!
We at Ribble Valley WFC are really looking forward to meeting fellow walking footballers and testing ourselves in a proper league with proper refs. Hoping we can convert quickly to proper walking too!
I represent a group of Canadian seniors, mostly late 60/over70 age group. We still play regular football, no superstars or ex pros, just a bunch of guys still running a bit. Some of us visited England in 2017 and played a couple of games with the Grimsby Ancient Mariner Walking Football Club.
Had a great social one day event with them. So much so everyone wants to do it again, coming again in August 2022 hopefully. We are off to Scotland for Edinburgh Festival and a game or two with Falkirk and Inverness. Again with walking football clubs. Full field, unlimited subs, no slide tackles etc. Followed by a social with beer, bragging and food.
All games that we have played with walking football teams have been very even and a great social atmosphere. We hear comments like “I have not played a regular game in a number of years and since joining walking football have always wondered if I could handle a regular game. Now that I have and enjoyed it so much I want to do it again”
Thus we got asked to come back, hence this trip. Our itinerary has lots of planning yet to be done. If there is any interest from some of your older walking football guys, please get back to me and we will see what we can arrange. Mike Walls
I have emailed you.
What a wonderful year considering the hoops the organisers, referees and players had to jump through to play the game we love.
Considering the pandemic the usual standards for the GMWFL was not just kept up but very much improved. It was really great getting back on the pitch to play good competitive matches once again and as usual the referees standards were excellent, as was the organisation, so thanks to Paul, Bill and Steve and to all the players that make this the best league in the country. Really looking forward to the new season in March and hope to be selected to represent this brilliant league in the future see you all very soon.
Mick T, Manchester Corinthians.
We travel long distances but each visit is worth it for the quality of opposition, quality of organisation, quality of facilities and of refereeing. Well done to all concerned.
Keep up the good work, Bill, Steve and Paul.
GMWFL is the best organised league in the UK which is why so many teams want to join the set up. Look forward to future developments in 2022.
Always looking to make improvements and take our beautiful game higher despite everything thrown at us these past 2 years.
Another excellent summary and update on the final positions.
Would echo the comments about the way the GMWFL is run and organised – it’s now a well honed operation and it has grown and continues to expand each year due to the dedication of Paul, Bill, Steve, Barry and Garry.
Many thanks from all at Wakefield Wanderers – after 6 consecutive winning seasons we lost out to a well organised Manchester Corinthians team but as you have noted the competition only gets stronger and every team needs to keep looking over their shoulder.
Thanks Steve, your comments are appreciated. When Paul and I started the league in late 2016 we never imagined how it would grow to it’s present size. It’s thanks to ALL the Officials that the league has a reputation as arguably the best in the country.
Thank you Bill Murney, for your comments regarding the efforts of the other officials of the GMWFL.
I think that I speak for everyone involved with our league, when I thank you for the huge amount of work you do behind the scenes.
The GMWFL is an outstanding league, due in no small part, to the tireless work you do behind the scenes.
Well done and long may it continue.
Rochdale AFC WFC
As usual an excellent report, always an excellent place to play walking football and a very well run operation. So thanks for all the effort that goes in.
Another comprehensive and excellent summary of all the results and positions.
Thanks to all those involved in running the league and doing all the back room duties such as this.
Great to see all the leagues back up and running as smoothly as normal. Big thanks to Paul, Bill, Steve and all the referees because without them there wouldn’t be games. See you all on November 4th. Mick Tarpey
When will I get to know the over 70s fixtures Man City.
As soon as the Fixtures Secretary sends them to me!
Excellent report as always Bill, well done everyone involved!
Thanks to Bill and Steve, the outstanding (again) referees, and everyone involved in making this a really enjoyable days football. From all at Rochdale AFC Walking Football Club
We all enjoyed our experience once more. Was great to play some new teams but more importantly play against teams with a great spirit and balance regarding competition and the ethos of walking football, well done to the players, referees and organisers for a great day. From all at Grimsby Corinthians.
Great report Bill, on a great day of walking football. The Martin Dawson Memorial Trophy is becoming one of the major competitions in the sport, because it attracts many of the best teams who play the game with great skill and spirit. Long may it continue.
Rochdale WFC and the GMWFL
Great tournament as usual. Excellent competition, very competent referees and very well organised.
Another excellent day at Heywood this time in sunshine. Some superb football on display and full marks to the referees and organisers for making things go so smoothly.
Can anyone please tell me the actual size of the individual walking football pitches .
If you mean at Heywood – no idea but certainly within the FA requirements –
LAW 1 THE FIELD OF PLAY (PLAYING AREA)
The playing area must be rectangular; the length of the touchline must be greater than the length of the goal line.
For 5-a-side and 6-a-side football the following dimensions are recommended:
Length: minimum 25m, maximum 50m.
Width: minimum 16m, maximum 35m.
Senior moment oops!
Can antipope tell me please the actual size of the individual pitches.
Hi Bill, a lovely piece for your players and congratulations again on those team stats. There’s absolutely no doubt every single player across the land will be itching to make their return when safe to do so. What a beautiful thing walking football is!
Hi All, like everyone else was under starters orders until this new virus showed up, but grin and bear it, we will return older, slower but with much more enthusiasm for the time missed, take care all.
Evening all and well done on all the great work you are doing. I am 50 tomorrow so am at the beginning of my walking football journey. Is there an over 50s league in the pipeline? Cheers Mark.
We only cater for the 60+ walking footballers and have no plans to lower the age category to over 50s.
Thanks Bill for the contact. Hopefully we’ll be able to resume the over 70s league first after vaccination. There has to be some compensation for being old! This long layoff may prolong our careers. There’s nothing any of us can do but stay in, keep safe and wait. Let’s hope there is a dramatic fall in the numbers and we get on top of this dreadful virus. Cheers.
Well said Kevin, yes it has definitely been a 2nd chance at football and in a great well organised league. Well done to all, can’t wait to be back.
Bill: Appreciate you taking the time to contact clubs/groups about the current state of play or more accurately the lack of it. These are dark days indeed for many of us. Losing our game represents just one of the many restrictions and challenges we face. With more draconian measures beckoning (probably rightly), we appreciate your communication. As the days get ever so slightly longer, the weather eventually a little warmer and the hope of a vaccine led recovery to something perhaps approaching normality later in the year, we wish you well in your efforts to get the various competitions back on track eventually. Our members have been given a link to this page. Thanks.
Alan, just had a read of your excellent article on David Gibbons, ex Manchester City player who plays at your sessions. Our readers on here may also be interested.
Cheers Bill. He’s a smashing bloke with an interesting football back story.
Things can only get better.
It’s been a very sad year for grassroots football throughout the whole country. We have missed the GMWFL very much due to the lockdown, particularly as we regard this as the best League Organisation in existence for us older players.
A lot of the hard work that has gone into the past 5 years will not go to waste though. When we return (most of us in a higher age group!) I am sure that we can continue where we left off. We look forward to meeting up with all our old friends. Some of us will be a little slower (not a bad thing) and greyer, but the enthusiasm will still be there as well as all the old silky skills previously demonstrated.
Best regards to all our footballing friends at GMWFL.
Steve Hyde (on behalf of Blackpool FC Senior Seasiders)
We shall return bigger and better.
Thanks for this Bill, it’s great that you make the effort to keep everyone involved, was going to wonder where you get the time but these days it’s in plentiful supply for all of us I guess!
Like you, and I’m sure all of our Walking Football friends, I am simply sitting tight and waiting for the day when we can resume our second chance football careers.
Can’t wait, until then take care everyone, be patient and stay safe, we’ll get there. Cheers.
First time down at Heywood. I was really impressed with the organisation and the standard of the refs. Long may it all continue guys. All teams were very friendly and fair. Only problem I didn’t realise it’s one step for the penalty so that goal was chalked off. Never mind you live and learn. The Carlisle lads are great, all be it a bit mad. 😂😂
Wasn’t the best day for our teams on the pitch but as always great sportsmanship and spirit among most of the players. Just hope our results get better next month. Would like to say a big well done to the referees for enforcing the walking and non contact rules to the letter, please keep it up. Mick T, Manchester Corinthians
Well done and well said Mick, always a pleasure to see you, and play against you, well played.
Once again thanks to Bill and the rest of the committee that work tirelessly to make the GMWFL the best in the country. Really looking forward to the new season to renew old friendships and old rivalries, OLD being the appropriate word, see you all soon. Mick T, Manchester Corinthians
How do you find the time to do all this work? Big respects to the team.
As I put on Facebook etc, yours is probably one of the best run leagues around, keep it up. 🐝🏆🏆🏆
My condolences and commiserations in both cases. I myself hope to return sometime soon for Blackpool Senior Seasiders, if I can get a game in such an illustrious outfit. All the best to all the teams this year.
Also many thanks from Blackpool to the Committee for all the hard work and organization that goes into bringing over 300 elderly footballers together.
This is an unenviable task and we are in excellent hands taking us forward. The fact that the league entices teams from Carlisle, Chester, Wakefield, Fleetwood and Blackpool is testament to the reputation of the set up across the whole of the North West.
Well done guys.
Bill – Many thanks for the comprehensive update and the outline of the leagues for the forthcoming season. The work that goes into organising the GMWF league structure and all the planning along with the day to day activities and the reporting is vast and all the clubs are indebted to you, Paul, Barry and Steve together with Link4life who support and enable us to play competitively. Am sure all are looking forward to another cracking seasons football.
As Chairman of The Senior Seasiders, I see plenty of Walking Football Competitions. If there is a better competition than this one, I have not seen it!
The organisation is flawless! The officiating is top notch. There is also a commitment from all involved to constantly improve. Well done.
Fantastic league, well organised by some really good people and contested by a great bunch of lads – and lassies!
Great season again in the GMWFL. Congratulations to all the winners (I know there are still some to be decided) and a massive thanks to the organisers and to the referees. Already looking forward to the next season up in the first division, see you all then.
Well done Wakefield and Corinthians on their League victories, well deserved. Division 2 was a very close encounter with only us, Blackpool, finding it hard to amass any points. Lack of goals and an unenviable ability to give away needless penalties has resulted in too many 0-1 defeats.
Hopefully, with Wai back next term from Hong Kong and a couple of 60th birthday boys set to join this age group we might be a little better balanced in 2020. Perhaps Division 3 will be a little kinder to us.
We always enjoy our trips over (despite my ritual “glove chucking” at the end of games) and the friends we have made make it all worthwhile. Thanks again to the Management Committee, as always. Glad to part of the best run League in walking Football.
Another great season and as mentioned at the presentation many thanks to all the organisers for running the league so efficiently and effectively.
We started slowly but finished well but we think the difference between the team at the top and the team at the bottom gets closer each year and we of course look forward with anticipation to the next league starting in 2020.
Thanks to all our opponents and again special thanks to Paul, Bill, Barry and Steve along with Gary and all the lads on the whistle.
The quality of play has improved immeasurably and teams in all age groups and divisions are really knocking the ball about well, using the space. I’ve played in the 60s, 65s and over 70s this month and noticed far more passes are going to feet and ball control is improving rapidly.
The transition from 5-a-side to walking football is hard, as in the former you pass a couple of yards ahead, whereas now if you do that it makes the receiver run to get it and get penalised. The refereeing standard is really high and I like the fact that they the referees, will talk to you about their decisions or warn you, without blowing up all the time making it stop start.
The popularity of the league is off course testament to the way it’s being run.
Well done to everyone who played, refereed, managed, spectated and organized Thursday’s event.
Difficult conditions but excellent football on show. I never knew that these new fangled goalkeeping gloves
could store so much water. It was like having an extra kilogram of weight hanging off your wrists!
Finally dried out.
It’s great to be back playing in the best organised league. I had a double bypass heart op at the end of March this year, and was itching to get back.
The camaraderie, jokes etc all go to make a great day out, (it helps being top of our league). I have been playing for Blackpool SS for over four years now, and having played at numerous venues, love the Heywood set up, but we could do with a few more 70s teams.
Keep up the great work lads, Ken P.
Another excellent set of games at Heywood in the month of October.
Well done Bill, Steve, Barry and Paul setting up the place and fixtures for us. The League goes from
strength to strength. Well done referees who all do the job that we don’t want to. Much appreciated.
Having played in the 60’s, 65’s and 70’s competitions I am now looking forward to a “quiet” week off with
the three grandchildren !!!!!
Well done on winning the award – well deserved and hope you get the main award – if votes are required please let us know and we would be happy to provide input.
“Nash Amblers and Denton Walking Football only select HEYWOOD players for the G.M.W.F.league from within our own groups who play weekly with us at Denton, or Curzon Ashton. We do not look beyond our own regulars nor seek, or invite players from other ‘clubs’ or groups to join us.” Some selective quoting going on here Bill. Let’s keep the record straight. The F.P.L. is a completely different kettle of fish to Heywood. Vive la difference.
I don’t do ‘sly’ and I don’t do ‘perfunctory’ As many of our players have established cordial relations with some opponents over the last five seasons I thought it appropriate to elaborate a little upon our absence. Competition sits well enough with me but winning is not everything. Taking part is, and I was explaining why we were no longer doing that Mr.Murney. Finally, I did not accuse you of ‘poaching’ players. We have had that conversation before and you clarified the reason why so many players from other groups have joined your teams. Good luck to them.
We at the Nash Amblers felt a more expansive word on our departure from the Over 60’s league is necessary, after the perfunctory terms in which our leaving the Over 60’s league was explained.
The Nash Amblers were founder members of this league and managed to finish in second place in our first three seasons. No mean achievement. We have enjoyed playing most of the teams we have been up against and many of our players will miss the monthly involvement at Over 60’s level.
Unfortunately time has moved on for too many of our players who now qualify for the Over 65’s league, and the Over 70’s set up. These will be playing with our closely associated partner group, Denton’s Tameside Striders in the upcoming season.
Nash Amblers and Denton Walking Football only select Heywood players for the G.M.W.F.league from within our own groups who play weekly with us at Denton, or Curzon Ashton. We do not look beyond our own regulars nor seek, or invite players from other ‘clubs’ or groups to join us. If we are short of numbers or talent then we resign ourselves to the ‘it’s the taking part that counts’ ethos.
However, though we have grown slowly in numbers over the years, the simple truth is that players aged 60-65 have become quite scarce in our set up. This is the only reason we have decided to withdraw from the Over 60’s league.
We wish old opponents, those who are taking our place, league administrators and Referees a successful, enjoyable season of walking football at Heywood.
Really looking forward to getting going again in the GMWFL. Looks like it’s going to be very competitive again, good luck to all the teams old & new who are playing this season.
Mick T, Manchester Corinthians
Love this league, it allows us women over 50 (or in my case 65) 🤣to play when we thought we would never be able to again, on a level playing field too.
Fantastically well run league which is going from strength to strength. It’s main asset is the quality of the referees who are strict on physical contact and running. I’m not just saying this because we at Preston had a successful season. I personally was pulled up repeatedly for running, as my enthusiasm got the better of me!
The pitches are superb and the organisation behind the scenes is second to none. I would thoroughly recommend this league and say to any team wavering, come on down, you won’t regret it.
Another brilliant comp, well done to all concerned.
It was great to be back playing with a great bunch of old Fa…s.
After missing the first three rounds due to a double bye pass, and not kicking a ball since the beginning of March,
felt like I’d never been away. Love Love it, roll on September . 🐝🏆🏆
We came again, we saw again, we competed again but not too much conquering went on. We were one of those teams who won nothing but that doesn’t matter. At over 65 we are happy to be able to attend and field a team. As a group we also have the Over 70’s represented soon.
Cast your mind back a decade or two and this would have been pretty much unthinkable. So, well done to the players, especially those who don’t take failure too much to heart, because everyone in this league is a winner. Still donning football kit, still kicking a ball about in a format that means something. Who would have thought it? Well done to the organisers.
A great league, well organised, a pleasure to play in no matter where we finished!
Well done to everyone who won something, and even those who didn’t, and thanks to the referees and organisers, roll on September.
Again many thanks from the lads (and lass) from Wakefield for allowing us to participate in the league. Compliments to the organisers, officials and teams who take part and congratulations to Corinthians who ruled the roost in Division 3.
As one of the old codgers from Rochdale Strollers LOL I must add my congratulations to the Corinthians team on their remarkable achievement. Still a thoroughly enjoyable day despite the poor results for us, and thanks must go to those guys who organise the event and most importantly referee it. Well done everyone.
Just to say congratulations to all players who took part today. The competitiveness never faded but everyone played in a good way. A word of thanks to the refs for the fair way they managed the games. Well done to Corinthians on their title win.
All the best, Gordon Fenton, Maccabi Old Codgers
A much better day at the office for the Senior Seasiders with an eight point haul. We actually played like a
team rather than 6 individuals who have just met each other.
Thanks again to Bill and his team for another super day of football.
Brilliant feeling winning the 3rd division title with another four games to go, makes up for last times disappointment. Thanks to the organisers and the refs, see you all in June.
Mick T, Manchester Corinthians.
Let’s all remember that players are over 60 and any injuries take longer to heal. By allowing players in the area the possibility of injuries are increased. The other two venues I play at have the same size goals and some weeks numerous goals are scored.
In the last session a number of comments were made about the refereeing. If teams would like to give the organiser’s the names of referees they feel are incompetent, then if one is myself, I will stand down.
If ANYONE wants to complain about the refs then let THEM take their places. Believe me it is a tough job, I have done it many times and am glad I have been able to give it up. Well done all of those men in the middle, the organisers and those who appreciate everything that is done for them!
Wise words Steve Hyde. Paternal sentiments echoed too.
Pleased the way participants seem to be responding to the firmer approach to physicality. There is a better atmosphere building in my opinion. On the whole your exceptions to F.A. law make good sense (to me anyway).
Running goes on but that’s part and parcel of walking football – at least it can be punished in a way ALL team players will disapprove of. Hopefully resulting in a policing of the quicker element – we all have runners in the camp.
Recently organising a much smaller, somewhat different type of league myself, I’m realising it’s not always easy. You never know what’s going to happen next, and organising this one must be an onerous task. Hats off to all involved.
Well played to everyone who took part on Thursday. As a Manchester Corinthians 60’s player I was particularly happy with their results and seeing Ray topping the race for the golden boot. Keep it going our golden oldies.
We have some very good keepers in this league, in every team, credit where credit is due please, this is a big contribution to the lack of goals. From a member of the goalkeepers union 🙂
Think the easy solution is to either limit the size of the goalkeepers – they must be no taller than 5 foot….. or make the big keepers play on their knees…..!
Goals are at a premium but can be scored – you have to work hard or have some luck.
Think we are all fortunate to play in such a good, well run league. As always thanks to Bill, Paul, Barry and the officials.
The solution to the lack of goals is so simple. There are plenty of shots but unfortunately very few are on target. So come on lads the answer is with you.
Great day on Thursday, very close in two of the divisions, not so close in the other. As for the goals size, it’s the same for everyone so who ever complained, practice your shooting.
Great organisation again so thanks to all concerned and a big thanks to the refs. If they don’t turn up we don’t play. Cu all soon, Mick T
No complaints from Blackpool except that Wai lost the toss 4 times and we had to play against an icy wind. I had headache by the end!
The only way to reduce the areas is to have cones, which will then kick away out of place and make judging in and out the D almost impossible.
If teams have problems they need to find another League. They won’t find one better run and better played. Get on with it. Cheers Bill, Paul and Barry.
Great job guys, these critics should stand up if they want to do it, but I am not holding my breath.
Walking football has given me a major boost since I retired, the time you lads give to facilitate blokes like me is really valued by so many of us, don’t let a few put you off. Thanks.
This was excellent to see and turning out as underage keeper for Preston it was an enjoyable day, to see so many 70 year old guys enjoying a game of football was fantastic. Hope the new over 70’s continues.
Another important day in the time-line of the GMWFL. The first, we think, over 70’s league. There have been a handful of Cup competitions, but this is a trophy won over 84 games involving seven teams. Great stuff Bill and Paul.
The first round of fixtures, as far as I could see, was played with great spirit and enjoyed by all. Thanks everyone.
Hear hear Bill. Organisers do a great job. Obviously the complainant has never tried to run an event of the magnitude that this entails. You are victims of your own success and the proof of this is the growth. People have enjoyed it so much that the word has spread.
The day went very well indeed in my opinion.
Organisation ran like a Swiss watch, there were no delays and I think we even finished a couple of minutes early! The level of competitiveness was for the most part sensible, certainly watching from the touchline.
Some might think games were brisk – indeed for septuagenarians it was rapid, but I saw hardly any instances of both feet off the ground ‘flying’ and I took about 350 photographs!
I’m confident, like you that is the nations first Over 70’s walking football league and the importance of this going forward should not be underestimated. Well done to all concerned, and on a more personal note, well done to our team for such a good start and thanks to all of our opponents. There are links to photo’s and video on our Tameside Striders website (Google Tamestriders). Thanks.
An excellent day of very veteran football. A delight to see fifty or so seventy year olds strutting their stuff. This is very poignant to me as my Dad (also a goalkeeper) died when he was only 71 and he would have loved to see this new age of football take off like it has.
Well done to Bill and his team for getting this groundbreaking league started and we all wish it the greatest success. Everyone is looking forward to April. The results don’t matter, being there and taking part is a true reward in itself.
You already do Steve.
Hi, I play walking football at Manchester City in the community I’m 51 and looking to join a league team in Manchester. Can any one help please thank you.
You are all doing a great job keep it up.
Great news, looking like a great season to come. A lot of hard work involved I’ll bet.
Pity about the golden gloves being abandoned, we won the 70’s tournaments at Heywood and Wigan thanks to some great saves by our keeper, Steve Hyde.
Keep up the good work, here’s to another successful season. 🐝🏆🏆
Thanks Bill. Great to see the League continuing to grow.
Now that the Golden Gloves Award is abandoned does that give goalkeepers the right to admonish out players
for giving goals away (particularly penalties !!!!) even more than we did before!
Bring on March.
A big thank you to you guys, I’ve played for both PNE Senior Whites and Fleetwood Town Flyers in over 60’s League and PNE Senior Whites over 70’s. I’ve said for a couple of years that age matters, when a guy in his early 50’s is playing against someone in their late 60’s or 70’s, agility and fitness is a big factor with physical challenges.
I’m 72 this year and will continue to play as long as my body allows. This league is brilliant, long may it continue.
Kind Regards, John Wilson
Always look fwd to playing at Heywood, well organised and intelligent refs using common sense. I’ve played in the three age groups and I think everyone agrees, the older the group the more enjoyable. I think we realise it takes longer for us relics to recover from injury.
I’m looking forward to the 70’s league next season, I just hope we get a good turn out. There’s always the spare player pool for struggling teams, a great idea but my manager keeps putting me in it, despite being our best player. 😎🐝
Happy new year to all my walking footy mates in all the teams.🐝🏆🏆
Another outstanding year of Walking Football.
Thanks to Bill Murney, the referees, all other organisers, but especially to the teams and players who take part and play the game in the right way.
Bring on 2019. Peaceful Christmas and New Year to all.
Steve Colesby (Rochdale WFC)
Thanks yet again to Bill, Paul and Barry (plus all the staff at Heywood) for another great series of Over 65’s football. Congratulations to Rochdale and Mancom on their achievements.
Sadly Blackpool started badly, tailed off in the middle and the less said about the end the better. We have found our level (having only achieved League status last time due to 2 Roach loanees, whilst the main squad was touring in Spain last May). We shall be back, can we please buy a goal from somewhere?
See you all in March. Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year to all.
Another great morning (and season) of Walking Football. Well done Bill, Paul and Barry again. Also, a huge thanks to the referees who have a thankless task keeping 100 or so competitive individuals in check. We love you all !!!
Congratulations to Wakefield, Chorley and Man City on their league victories, all well deserved. The League gets stronger and stronger and there are no easy games in any division. Nothing much between all 15 sides, I would say.
Looking forward to March when “combat” beginnings again.
A big thank you and well done to Manchester Walking Football for organising and running such a good competition and a big well done to all the teams competing.
Many thanks from all at Wakefield Wanderers to Bill, Barry and Paul and all the referees. The GMWF is a cracking competitive league with not a lot of difference in the teams from the top of Div 1 to the bottom of Div 3. Goals and wins are always hard to come by and matches are played in great spirit throughout. Your efforts are much appreciated.
Another great session at sunny Heywood. Brilliant football played in the right spirit amongst like minded guys.
It is worth the long trek across Lancashire and over the Grane Road for such a sporting competition. The refereeing continues to keep everyone in check as we all become very accustomed to each others strengths and weaknesses.
Pool are playing the long game in 2018 waiting for 3 youngsters to qualify, by age, for 2019. Sadly none of them are goal scorers either. So back to Plan B and I will be boarding up the goals in December. Buggie’s knee seems to be working properly again!
Thanks again, Bill. Good to see you almost back on your feet. The deckchair was a superb addition, we will bring you a knotted hanky and an ice cream next time.
That can be arranged, Bill.
How refreshing to participate in a tournament that was played in the true spirit of the game. The quality of refereeing was second to none and players of all the teams naturally respected that.
I have to say that I was filled with pride to be part of such a good team, not to mention a great set of ‘lads’.
Many thanks to the organisers for such an enjoyable day. Once a Senior Seasider, always a Senior Seasider.
Well done to the organisers for making it a really enjoyable day. The match format was great as there was no waiting about between matches and the referees were excellent as usual. I never thought that I’d be buying shin pads and playing competitively in my 70’s. Thanks to all the participants who competed in the right spirit.
Another excellent day of “competitive” football played in the right spirit between a great set of “gentlemen”. All down to the strict refereeing and fair play by all the sides.
Nice that the Very Senior Seasiders can show our younger colleagues back on the coast how to bring back a trophy. Thanks to all the teams taking part. A brilliant day.
Also thanks to Paul and the staff at Life4Link for a great spread afterwards.
Many thanks from the lads at Wakefield for the chance to play. We only had 6 men and gather they performed well throughout – they were all cream crackered and certainly must have slept well on Thursday night. Thanks to Paul, Bill and Matt, the referees and all who stood in to help organise and run the day.
Niall ODonnell Chairman Wakefield Walking Football
Well done lads, no goals conceded can’t be bettered. The way my 60’s are struggling, maybe I should take the 70’s team with me on December 6th for the last fixtures and save us from relegation.
Brilliant, congratulations Blackpool and to all the players who took part. Playing in the over 60’s GMWF League has really put something that was missing for over 15 years back and providing I stay healthy there a future in the game for myself and hundreds of other players.
As normal a big thanks to the refs and the organisers of this and all the other GMWF League tournaments and congratulations to all who took part yesterday.
Another super days football at Costa Del Heywood and again thanks to Bill, Paul and all the officials for a well organised day.
All at Wakefield support and applaud Paul’s comments before the session started. Contact and running have no place in Walking Football.
The referees were clear, concise and consistent throughout and it was a shock to hear one player make some vile and obnoxious comments in the earshot of the organisers and officials for an incident where he felt aggrieved but where he was quite clearly in the wrong! We would fully support any sanction taken against the individual and would also suggest his club need to speak to him.
Really enjoyed the day which I felt was well refereed and played in the right spirit. We may be bottom of the league but we’re just out doing what we love, playing football.
As always Bill very very professional.
Brilliant day, congratulations to all the teams involved, all played in the right spirit. Congratulations to the winners Sheffield WFC.
Thanks to the refs who did their usual great job and with a smile on their faces. The organisers are to be congratulated, not just for the original setting up off the event, but the last minute alterations that they had to do.
I hope Martin’s family enjoyed the day as much as the players did. Hope to see you all again next season.
Mick Tarpey, Manchester Corinthians
Well done Bill, great competition and congratulations to all the trophy winners.
Only one point of concern from Blackpool. That was the five times taken penalty in the 1-0
defeat to Sheffield (due to the player taking more than 1 step on 4 occasions !!). Bizarre.
Many thanks to Mike from Vintage Celtic for stepping in as our goalkeeper due to unfortunate family
circumstances. Top man.
No problem, it didn’t make a difference to league positions and the guys took it on the chin.
An impressive competition. Highly competitive ‘football’ as the report suggests. Well done to the winners, and to the organisers for coping with the delayed arrivals. All Referees were very good. Many of the games were closer to ‘football’ than walking football though – I say that as a neutral spectator for an hour or so.
So great credit to Halifax for setting the example of ‘how walking football should be played’. I would very much like to arrange a friendly game in the future. Paul Stead please google ‘Tamestriders’ website and get in touch with your contact details if you fancy one.
Well done to the finalists and the winners – the geographical radius of teams attending does the organisers great credit. None of the above comments are intended as criticism.
OK, Alan, thanks for your comments. I’ll Google you and see what we can arrange! We really enjoyed the day, a very well organised tournament and great facilities. Paul Stead, Halifax WFC.
Let’s accept that surprisingly there is a huge demand for a type of football for the over 50s. It is not walking football though. It is what I shall call supervets, small sided games on smaller pitches with limited contact and a ‘one foot on the ground’ rule.
Let these competitive types have their own sideshow but let it be known not as walking football. The FA have been lazy in their definition of walking and have degraded the whole sport by so doing. Walking Football United have addressed the issue and defined walking in a clear and measurable way, heel first, straight leading leg, etc. The Groucho Marx crouching run with both knees bent that you see in many online videos is not permitted.
The social benefits claimed for walking football are no less valuable in supervets and is a great motivator for the participants so we should build on that by developing the supervets game as a separate sport.
I maintain that splitting up what we have now into tighter and tighter age groups is not the answer. Referees can not inject the philosophy into players. Anyone should be allowed to play walking football as long as they can conform to the spirit of that version of the game.
Thanks to all at GMWFL and the teams involved in being so understanding about the Blackpool team situation.
Wise decisions were made on the day and Les says “I’ll be back”. Well done guys.
I would like to put the record straight regarding Bill’s comments on Vintage Celtic.
As a result of a constant struggle to field a team in the Heywood league, all members were contacted and asked which competitions they would like to play in following the summer break.
From that poll, it was clear that there were insufficient numbers for Vintage Celtic to continue in the competition, and, as a result, the club reluctantly withdrew.
I would be very interested to hear an explanation of what exactly “being destroyed from within” means.
I don`t see any issues with you from the mail below.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but after leaving it as late as I could to allow people to make a choice, we don’t have enough players who wish to play in the Greater Manchester Walking Football League over 60’s or 65’s next season, so therefore Vintage Celtic will not be entering a team at present.
May I wish you all the best for the coming season and if anything changes for future leagues, we will let you know.
Brian Coll the Correspondent on this comments section has challenged me to publish his further response and my replies, which are below in italics. I didn’t think it appropriate to continue a pointless discussion on here but here it is. Any readers remotely interested can make up their own minds.
i am not going to argue the toss with you.
This is by no means the first negative comment you have made about Vintage Celtic on either of your walking football websites.
It is funny how only you receives these complaints from members when none of the members of the working group have ever had anybody register an issue with them, perhaps if you would let me know who the individuals are some progress may be made.
At the outset of this topic, you state a fact that Middleton Legends have withdrawn because they are unable to field a team. This is exactly the same as Vintage celtic, which you were informed of in a polite and cordial way, yet you chose to continue your crusade against our club by once again airing your personal grievances on a public noticeboard in an inappropriate and inaccurate way.
I for one will not sit back while you continue to make snide digs about our club and the thinly veiled attacks on its community programme and it`s Community Development Officer.
In your position, you would do well to just report facts, not personal opinion.
Another good days football and as noted in the report some excellent refereeing. Thanks from all at Wakefield to Paul, Bill and all involved for such a well organised league.
Well done, Bill.
This must have taken some re-organising and you have performed a brilliant job bringing it altogether. Good luck to all teams, old and new, looking forward to seeing familiar faces again.
Really looking forward to our new venture, and hopefully we will all enjoy it, thanks Bill for the invite and telling the other teams we won the Cheshire League, although we are not the same team that won that league so don’t expect to much from us lol.
See you in September.
Iain, Northgate Strollers
Another thoroughly enjoyable day out, well done to everyone who organised and took part!
Thanks for the kind words Bill, and for all of your efforts in organising this great event – also to Paul and Barry who help to make it such an enjoyable time. No idea how I managed that score; somebody will beat it one day but I bet it isn’t me. I have had my good luck for a few hundred years after that LOL.
Another fun day out despite my playing as though I had my shoelaces tied together. A special mention for our playing partner Ian who took 7 shots OFF his 18 hole score to record his best ever! Thanks again Bill and Paul, looking forward to the last round already.
Great sport this and absolutely funny but serious, it’s impossible to miss the hole you would think until you try it. Great day out and afterwards sausage rolls which are delicious even without brown sauce or mustard.
Colin still breathing at 75.
Thanks to everyone involved in the organisation of the league. Enjoyed it immensely. Great games and made new friends. A journey of between 60 and 75 minutes to get to Heywood but well worth it. Excellent buffet on the last day which was appreciated. Roll on September.
Bill – thanks for another super write up and summary of a cracking days football. We thought we were there to see if Bolton could hold off the Roach Dynamos in the final match but after possibly our best consistent team performance ever, we suddenly ended up top with the 4 victories.
Much appreciate the kind comments of Alan and Mick and fully agree with Steve that the organisation, refereeing, planning and “making it happen” are down to you, Paul, Barry and the refs.
As always many thanks from the lads and lass at Wakefield Wanderers.
Niall ODonnell, Chairman Wakefield Wanderers
Another excellent season at Heywood, a well managed league and great facilities.
Thanks to Bill, Paul and Barry for all their hard work in bringing 15 teams and around 150 aged footballers together. Well done to the referees who have an unenviable job keeping everyone in check. Those who complain ought to have a go at arbitrating, just once.
Well done to all the teams and individuals who took the honours for the Spring season. Already looking forward to September and the Autumn series.
Just like to congratulate all of the winning teams but especially Wakefield Wanders. A great group of players and to win 4 out of 4 when it mattered, well fair play to them.
As always thanks to the people who put the whole thing together and a big thanks to the referees. We cannot play without them. As for my team, we had a bad day last time out and that blew our chances really but we got our team spirit back again and we look forward to September and doing it all over again.
See you all soon, Mick Tarpey, Roach Dynamos
Thanks for a comprehensive report of a good day. There is some video linked on our website. Pleased to see Wakefield Wanderers promoted and congratulations to them – we feel they play the game the right way and they have had mixed fortunes of late in the various age categories.
We look forward to ‘locking (velvet) horns’ in the Autumn. How the sunshine puts a different complexion on things – casting ones mind back to chilly, and windy sessions earlier in the year. On behalf of The Nash Amblers thanks to the organisers and the Referees.
A very good account of a memorable walking football event. A rather sultry morning which made tough demands on players and on Referees. A special word of praise for them.
Tameside Senior Striders showed their more youthful counterparts how it’s done with an unbeaten run to the final. We always say ‘results matter but are not important’ and losing the penalty shoot out was met with a shrug of the shoulders rather than any inquest or self-criticism.
Well done Rochdale Reds. We were delighted with the way the morning went for us and hope we were fair playing opponents for the teams we faced on the day. All of whom deserve credit for the way the games were played. Newcomers Huddersfield were especially impressive and I hope they return – Birmingham too. There is extensive video of a few of our games on Tameside Striders youtube channel but I’m afraid the commentaries are often a bit one sided, you can always mute the sound.
I think we shall be back in November with the Over 70’s squad – the higher up the age bracket the more enjoyable walking football seems to become – my only regret is I’m too young to compete for a place with the Seniors at the moment.
Thanks for linking the photo’s within the report, anyone is welcome to help themselves to what’s on Flickr – a credit would be nice, there will be a few more going up in a day or so (mostly other teams). Thanks for the organisation and the report Bill.
Another boring day at Heywood, the usual rubbish. Well run and organised as usual, excellent buffet prepared by that bloke, what’s his name, up all night preparing. So all in all, nothing to pick holes in, organisation, referees, buffet etc etc. Just another boring day at Heywood. Looking forward to Thursday’s 70’s comp, expect that’ll be just the same, a boring and nothing to moan about day.
Oh one more thing, the Footgolf, do you need a club foot to play?
This is a great event, played in a great spirit, which as we have seen recently is just as important as any other aspect of the game. Thanks a lot to all of the guys who organise and take part!
Only one way for the Wakefield lads and that is up the table. After 10 scoreless draws in the the first 12 games we conceded 10 in the last 3, we need to sack the keeper!
Has been a well organised and a well run league with some very effective referees, so Wakefield would like to thank Bill, Barry, Paul and all the officials. Congratulations to the Rochdale lads.
Another excellent days football, top event. Well organised, quality refs and top competition from all the other teams. Well done guys. 👍
The observation in the round up is very true to a point as it’s just one disruptive influence within the squad who refuses to stop the bickering, so please don’t tar us all with the same brush. Sorry if it upset anyone, it will get sorted out, thanks. Mick T, Roach Dynamos
Another great day, thank you to all the GMWFL volunteers for their support and organisation! Third Space Seniors WFC had a brilliant day, and as far as I could see were the only team smiling and laughing from start to finish, you did me proud lads, we won’t be bottom for long! Can’t wait till next time, Guy.
Thank you Bill, for the kind words about Rochdale AFC Strollers, much appreciated.
Thanks from all at Wakefield for the update and indeed for running the league so effectively.
Think all appreciated that having 7 teams would make organisation difficult and that has proven to be the case.
Clear that scoring goals in the 10 minute matches was a challenge with so many scoreless draws and so switching to 20 minutes seemed like the sensible option but understand that there will be some teething problems. As noted if you get another 1 or 3 sides planning will become easier.
Cold day but most games played as walking football. With the change of format it was difficult to ensure equal fixtures. It was apparent that one team have not grasped the concept of walking football and would appear that the competition rules are not understood. Reminded me of an experience at Northwich in the Cheshire Walking Football League.
“You just cannot win sometimes” – I know the feeling. Look at the table!
That said Bill, I hope my expression of ‘disquiet’ about fixtures was not regarded as the solitary ‘complaint’.
Because it wasn’t.
Thanks for a great day.
Fantastic day! All the lads enjoyed every bit, well done to Ken aka Rashford (Third Space Seniors) for his hole in one on hole 5, brilliant, looking forward to the sunshine on the next Footgolf day. Guy – Third Space
Thanks for the report, and your efforts in organising and trying to maintain the spirit of what walking football should be about.
Good to see some long spells of sunshine at last. Well done to Rochdale Strollers for leading the Division 1 table at this halfway stage. Also Maccabi had a great day in Division 3, good to see.
Our own ‘Nash Amblers’ are consistently hard to beat but we need more goals from somewhere if we’re to start closing the gap at the top of Division One.
Tameside Striders are back soon for the Over 65’s. Hoping for similar weather!
Another brilliant session (in the sun!) at Heywood. Still very competitive but always played in the correct
spirit. It is a pleasure to make the 120 mile round trip to meet a great set of guys and gals. Well done to GMWFL
management for organising an increasingly efficient and demanding competition.
Can’t wait for May!
Well done to all. It was a good day out once more, the games played in a good spirit. I prefer the Over 65 format, just seems that bit more enjoyable. I agree with Kenneth, there is not much that could be done better – anywhere. New rule amendments are cutting down physicality. Some limited running yes, but that’s endemic nationwide and we’re as guilty as the next. The Referees’s cut out the worst of it.
Thanks to the Ref’s and the Organisers. We should be good for an Over 70’s Cup entry too.
Some game video is on our website (GMWF Over 65 league page).
It sounds another fantastic and well organised day lads, keep up the good work.
Guy, Third Space Seniors WFC
Another well run 65’s round yesterday. Seems to be a better rapport with the referees, they have a hard job to do and things are getting even better.
I play for Blackpool SS but originally from Langley estate just up the road. I did live in Heywood for a year, and played for Hooley Bridge. I also played for Hollins Secondary Modern football team and on leaving, played for The Gardeners Arms.
The main reason for this comment is, yesterday after face booking, I met up with an old school and Gardeners Arms football team mate at the games. It’s been over 50 years since we last played together, alas his knees won’t allow him to play.
Thanks to the gang that organise these fixtures, couldn’t be done much better, only sorting the weather out. I am looking forward to seeing the 70’s competition. I’ll be one of the young ones, 71.
A fantastic effort from all the teams involved I’ve been told, and a great thanks to all organisers of both the over 60’s and 65’s leagues, keep up the good work!
Guy- Third Space Seniors WFC
Good report of an interesting first round of fixtures. Fully support your closing comments. On the bits of video I captured any contact (very little) was not heavy and there was no malice involved. Same from a playing point of view in the two games I played. Hope we might score a goal in March. Working on it. Thanks.
Yet another superb day of walking football organised by Bill and his colleagues. It doesn’t come much better than this. Great set of like minded teams competing but in a very friendly atmosphere. Let’s hope this continues and I’m sure Bill and the others will ensure that it does.
Keiran, Bury Relics
Agree with an age specific set up, but must be 50 to 55, 55 to 60, 65 to 70. A difference in age if 8, 9 or 10 yrs is far too much. Having played in quite a few competitions 55+, then at the age of 64 it can be a little too competitive.
There seems to be an understanding within the 50’s sections as to try to get away with as much as they can, running, making contact etc. Stronger refereeing required.
Well done to the organizers for last year, I know they’ll do as good a job this year.
Looking forward to the new “Zimmer League”, just hope there are a few teams out there.
We are putting a team out from Blackpool, if we get pass outs from, Matron.
If we don’t get many teams, are you making the games longer as you’ve done in the past?
All the best to my new Walking Footy mates, Ken P. ⚽️⚽️⚽️
A Happy New Year to all on the dark side from Wakefield Walking Football. I am sure that 2018 will prove to be as successful as previous years for all involved in the GMWF League. An excellent League with super competitions, all played in the right spirit. Many thanks to all who participate and in particular Bill, Paul and the lads who organise and ref the matches. We are looking forward to 2018.
Just wanted to say a big thank you to yourself and all the other guys committed to organising our walking football league on behalf of all of us at Bury Relics.
I for one have found a new lease of life since being involved via the Relics and am thoroughly enjoying every aspect of it.
Our team is not just a team now but fast becoming firm friends who are beginning to have a social side as well as the football itself.
We are also growing which of course we need to do, as our players get older they can move onto the older age group sections of the league and be replaced by newer members joining……long may it continue.
Regards, Keiran, Bury Relics
Can’t wait to start the new season, Bill.
GMWFL is one of the best organised and well run groups in Walking Football. The additions to age groups and rules
is more than welcome.
Steve Hyde (AFC Blackpool)
Not one of the best! THE best!
This comment from Blackpool AFC Senior Seasiders Chairman Les Turner is on the News page Comments but I feel that it’s well worth repeating here.
A big THANK YOU to Mick Tarpey of Roach Dynamos for the best example of sportsmanship that I have ever see on a football pitch.
Mick won a penalty against us and stepped up to take it. Our keeper saved it but the ref (wrongly) said that the kick had to be retaken because Mick has taken more than one step. Mick stepped up to retake the penalty and tapped it to our keeper saying that it was the wrong decision and if he hadn’t scored with more than one step then he didn’t deserve to score.
Mick’s sportsmanship cost his team three points and himself the Golden Boot for being top goalscorer BUT he did the right thing. An example to us all.
Les Turner, Chairman AFC Blackpool Senior Seasiders
Just had a repair done to my shoulder, it was a day case, full anaesthetic operation. It’s an injury from last May, caused by a fall during a game. It’s not caused much pain but irritable when waking up for the during the night peeing sessions. I’m in a sling for 4-6 weeks, so no footy until end of January.
I played in all the Heywood 60’s and 65’s comp’s for Blackpool. Fantastic Comp’s and brilliant organisation. Looking forward to next years Comp’s, bring it on, especially the new 70’s comp (are Zimmer frames allowed?). Merry Christmas to all my new W/Footy mates, a great bunch of lads, long may they play the game they love.
PS anyone out there play for “The Gardeners Arms” mid sixties?
Just got to say that taking up walking football has given me a second footballing career when I honestly thought my playing days were over! I loved playing, eventually having to retire at 40, although coaching and managing at junior level kept me in touch.
I missed the camaraderie and banter so much – but now thanks to Paul, Steve and all of the guys both at Rochdale AFC and the other clubs, not to mention Bill and the other marvellous officials of the league I can look forward to playing for many years to come. Brilliant. Thank you.
I am minded to write to you concerning the conduct of one of the Roach Dynamos players last Friday.
The player involved was Mick Tarpey and it revolved around a penalty taken in the game against AFC Blackpool Senior Seasiders. Mick had his penalty saved but the referee ordered a re-take as he had taken more than the one step during the shot. Mick pointed out to the referee that that wasn’t the correct ruling as the penalty was missed, and he then refused to take a second kick.
This was a highly commendable action and one which shows off the Walking Football Etiquette at it’s highest level. Not only did this deny Roach a possible game winner but also denied Mick the outright winning of the golden boot award for the tournament. He is to be praised as a true gentleman of the game and reflects their club’s wonderful attititude to the game we play.
It was just the right thing to do, I want to win as much as the next player but the keeper made a great save, end of. So I’d just like to thank you for pointing out the event but I, like all of us, are there to enjoy the day.
All the best, Mick Tarpey, Roach Dynamos.
Well Done Mick Tarpey. Top man!
Steve Colesby (Rochdale AFC Strollers)
Another excellent series of Walking Football competitions.
The standard continues to improve and the smooth running of the days is a credit to Bill, Paul and Barry.
It is no mean feat keeping 140 plus competitive and highly motivated chaps in line. Congratulations to the
referees who have the most difficult job in watching 14 creepers and joggers and combatants all at the
We are looking forward to the extension to the competitions next year to include Over 65 and Over 70 levels.
More football for more players. Who will be the first to turn out a 75+ team ? We are getting there.
Have a great Christmas break from competitions, The Senior Seasiders are disappointed that their regular
Monday sessions have been cancelled due to Christmas and New Year’s Days!! Where is the commitment?
Steve Hyde (AFC Blackpool SS Secretary)
Again many thanks for allowing the Wakefield Wanderers to participate in the GMWF League – it is the best organised league we have seen with referees who have an understanding and awareness of the rules and use them effectively. All the teams in Division 3 are to be commended and we certainly had to win it the hard way – think any of them would not be out of place in Division 2.
We really appreciate the work that Bill, Paul and Barry do in the background to improve and extend the reach of Walking Football to the increasing number of participants.
Niall ODonnell, Chairman Wakefield Walking Football.
It would be great to have a 70’s and over competition next year if enough interest could be shown.
Top notch competition really well organised and so enjoyable. It’s a great way to exercise doing something we all love and meet like minded people. Great after match hospitality. Even the referees on the day were excellent.
Thank you again.
Keiran Tilley, Bury Relics (Vintage on the day)
Great day with some great guys. Big thanks to Bill and Paul for their organisation. Roll on the next one, oh and the over 70’s.
Steve Colesby, Rochdale Walking Football Club
Still thinking about the tournament as I was hanging out the kit to dry today. The weather wasn’t as kind on Friday, but when the sun did shine albeit briefly there was still some warmth in it. The cold wind and the rain when it came did not deter those taking part. Everyone involved deserves great credit. What a great way for older men to get some exercise and reconnect with a football once again in a relatively friendly environment. Competition, but not ‘fierce’ competition. Win or lose you just can’t beat it. Thanks to all who took part, and to the organisers.
Fantastic effort to all the players, hopefully Third Space Seniors FC will play a big part in the next tournament! Great effort lads 😀
An excellent & well organised tournament played in a very sporting manner. Good after-play hospitality & banter, too. Well worth the 200 mile, 5 hour round trip, almost! Thanks for a great day. Bob Haywood, Hartshill Strollers 65+ manager.
Hi, unfortunately I was unable to play in November due to injury so I was down as a supporter. In the games I watched they were competitive but some of the tackles were a bit overboard and it won’t be long before someone is badly injured.
The referees do a very good job but they must be a lot firmer and any player committing a deliberate foul, bringing a player down, or running to get back in a defending position should be sent to the sin bin for 2 minutes. No second chance and hopefully this will make players more aware of their actions, after all its supposed to be non contact.
We had a good day (The Nash Amblers and Bees) and have transformed our chances in the space of just one round of fixtures. Which shows almost anything can happen, and probably will next month.
We enjoy gathering at Heywood for these games, even though they impact on our regular internal sessions sometimes.
On a constructive note – we understand it’s easier to keep fixtures and pitches the same month after month, but as I said to Paul and yourself it would be an improvement if Referees could be alternated/rotated a little more.
Personally the day was all I expected it to be but subsequent reports from our players of an incident on one pitch, and later observations of some reckless physical contact have concerned me, as the organiser of our group of players. I hope you and Paul, as organisers of this exceptional league can nip this in the bud. As you say we are ALL old enough to know much better. We ALL have a responsibility to behave appropriately.
Thanks to Bees opponents on the day (I play with Bees), Bolton ‘B’, Bury Relics and Wakefield Wanderers for some good games played in a decent spirit – of course we all can get a little exuberant at times, including myself. Yet there was no hint of nastiness in our games in Division Three. There is a report of our day on our ‘tamestriders’ website as well as some Bees and Amblers video featuring Rochdale Striders/Strollers/Bolton B and soon Wakefield too.
I have given all of our players a route to get here and comment if they wish. I hope some do so. All of the one hundred plus men who took part on Friday should make the most of this forum in my opinion, and the opportunity to have the ‘free club website’ which is on offer.
In closing I look forward to the Over 65 competition next week with Tameside Striders.
Another cracking days football with really helpful and practical organisers and officials. Always made welcome and League is well run and refereed. Thanks from all the lads at Wakefield. Efforts of all at Heywood are much appreciated.
Another brilliant morning over in Rochdale. Excellent competitive football in a fair and reasonably relaxed atmosphere. Great organisation as always and well done to “Pork Pie Pete” from Fleetwood. Magnificent gesture. Perhaps we could donate to this each month in future as well.
Thanks again from AFC Blackpool for the organisation of the Competition. Always difficult when the weather tries to take over the event. The guys all enjoyed their day out and look forward to the next round of the GM League in October. Cheers
Steve, I cannot understand all these comments that the participants are making about a little Manchester drizzle.
A very well run event with very helpful staff, good companionship with the other teams and the best set of referees we have encountered. We will definitely be back. Enjoyed the Manchester sunshine too.
Many thanks from all the Hartshill Strollers players.
A great days football despite the weather. This was the best organised tournament we have played in and standard of referees was excellent. All participants were competitive but in a non aggressive way. Hope to meet up with you all again sometime in better conditions.
Despite the weather this was an enjoyable experience. Perhaps the friendliest tournament I have experienced with a lack of tension about the games although of course, we all wanted to win if possible. The Refereeing helped a lot of course. Well done to the organisers for ‘thinking on their feet’ and reaching a sensible, alternative format.
Respect to Maureen and to the memory of her late Husband, who I’m sure would be pleased to know his name is honoured in this way annually. More on our own website in due course, including links to photo’s and some video of us and some of our opponents. Unfortunately the monsoon like conditions meant video had to be curtailed and we couldn’t shoot our last match v. Vintage Celtic.
Just a quick thank you to you all from the players and supporters of Blackburn Rovers WF 60+ team for a great day yesterday. We all thoroughly enjoyed what was our second trip to Heywood. In spite of the appalling weather it was a well run, friendly afternoon with quite a few familiar faces and a number of new ones as well.
The weather may think it won but the real winners were the 100 or so players, refs, administrators and spectators who all got together and made it all worth while.
Although I didn’t know Martin but I’m sure that he was looking on and would have been pleased as punch with the day, walking football bringing people together and providing a stage for physical and mental stimulation and friendship which benefits so many.
Thanks again, I trust that you will be repeating next year (although maybe not quite with so much rain!), and assuming that you are, please count us in.
All the best
Blackburn Rovers WF
Thank you for the invite, we really struggled to raise a squad due to holidays and injuries and loaned a keeper from Man City to make up the team. We all really enjoyed it, and all the games were played in good spirit and a very sporting manner. The condition weren’t great but some of the passing and movement of the teams and goalkeeping was very impressive.
The refereeing was also to a high standard. We commented about the checking of id which is a good move, as we have entered competitions previously where ‘ringers’ have been allowed to play. The Lovely spread of food and drink was most welcome after the games. Thank you and congratulations on a great event. We will be interested in being invited to your future events.
Bob Hey – Huddersfield WF
Many thanks from all at Wakefield for the invite to play and for the chance to retain the trophy. Wish we had the chance to have battled it out with Blackburn or Vulcans but crikey it was wet and we were relieved to be coming in after standing in the Lancashire rain!
Great organisation from Bill and Paul, you certainly are leading in the tournament organisation stakes! The referees were some of the best we have encountered – many thanks to all the opponents for the spirit in which the games were played.
Niall ODonnell, Chairman Wakefield Walking Football – follow us on Facebook.
Another excellent day out at Heywood. Brilliantly organised by Bill, Barry and Paul (as usual).
Great competition in all 3 divisions and welcome to the new guys who have added well to the overall competition.
Hopefully we can produce a joint Fleetwood/Blackpool B team (hampered by injuries, holidays and old age
in making a group of our own). This will give Division 3 an extra game each.
Thanks again, see you all in October.
First time for me and my team mates from Roach Dynamos. Really enjoyed the whole day, we were a bit green to start with but we were pleased with the way the day went. Would like to thank the refs and the organisers for putting the whole thing on. Had a good laugh off the pitch with the lads from the other teams and a great tussle with them on it. Really missed the buzz of playing football, was a great feeling doing it again although my feet didn’t think so on Saturday. Looking forward to next month, thanks again, Mick – Roach Dynamos.
A very well organised day apart from the log jam at the start to get everyone registered. The reminder about teams getting there a bit earlier to avoid a late rush should be heeded by all. Whoever organised the weather also did a grand job. Many thanks from the lads at Wakefield for allowing us to join in.
An excellent session enjoyed by everyone I came into contact with. Can I ask you to encourage the referees to make use of the ‘sin bin’ and red cards as a number of players appeared to forget it is a non-contact sport. As I was on the end of what would have been a red card tackle in normal football, it was unnecessary in this form of the game.
Great organisation and thanks again for enabling so many to enjoy the game.
Thanks for that summary of an interesting September session Bill.
From a personal point of view I do think it’s a better idea to introduce promotion and relegation at the end of the ‘season’ it gives teams an opportunity to gauge their progress against the same regular opponents. It takes a lot of commitment to organise this alongside running your own team/s which I know can be time consuming in itself. I will look at the opportunities the website provides later when I get some time. I hope more people and teams avail themselves of the site and contribute to the forum more as the months go by.
Great place for Walking Footie BUT Blackpool Senior Seasiders better be in on Sept 1st because I am The Club Chairman and heads will roll if somebody on our side has cocked up! LOL
Agree with the above and would also recommend a more age specific set-up i.e. over 50`s up to age 60 and over 60`s playing separately up to 70+. At the moment 70 + year olds are playing much younger just over 50`s, that is unfair as there is a great difference in physicality between these ages. I believe the less combative `slower` football would be better for the over 60`s and should be segregated into different leagues, cups etc.
If anyone wants links to video, or action shots just ‘Google’ Tameside Striders and explore the menu. The Final is featured there too in addition to games involving ourselves. We enjoyed it and would probably play a part in future tournaments of this nature.
A really enjoyable competition, played in the best spirit by everyone. Thanks to all who took part, and special thanks to Bill and Paul.
A well written report of the proceedings too!
I propose that we do it again in three or four months maybe!
Steve Colesby (Rochdale AFC Strollers)
Thoroughly enjoyable day including the only dry 2 hour period of the week. Division A was very close, we finished 4th but a goal against Blackpool or Rochdale would have seen us in the knock out stages.
Thanks to the organisers, referees and caterers. When was the last time you had a snowball. As Arnie says we’ll be back.
Just an idea. Let’s brand and franchise it as ‘SoccerLite’ – so it’s ‘what it says on the can’. Walking Football only identifies a rule not an ethos. Tournaments will always attract pothunters and the associated physicality like they did when we were kids.
I play WF at 71, but get (and give) my knocks playing elsewhere with nominal over 35s! I accept (stern) reminders from my side and opposition when I get the two disciplines mixed. That’s one of the problems with age and memory!
We should be reassured that we who are playing for pleasure are the majority as witnessed by these responses and the game grows. So let’s adopt the slogan ‘kick on don’t kick out or kick off’
Another brilliant day in great surroundings and fabulous facilities. We in Blackpool are very jealous.
Congrats to Bill and his team for organising the whole event so well. It is always difficult to manage
the expectations of around 70 – 80 competitively minded chaps each with their own agenda.
The format is developing and improving each time we come along. The refereeing is now more consistant
and relevant to the age group. There will always be someone who is not happy and you can’t please everyone.
They are “drains” rather than “radiators” also known as BMW’s (Bloody moaning whingebags).
Well done all the teams and individuals who won a pot, but I think all the teams were winners by just getting sides out and competing (at our age we really should know better). Blackpool were just glad to celebrate their first goal in open play after 15 games of trying (last and only goal was a penalty in our 1st game), but it was against our B team!
Looking forward to the 65’s day coming up and the Autumn 60’s festival. Keep on Walking, folks.
I think I will reply privately to some of the points you have raised Bill, but just to correct you, this was in fact the second trophy ‘The Nash Amblers’ have managed to win in just three attempts. Despite your surprising alternative statistical efforts to suggest the contrary, we did win the runner-up trophy at Heywood last week.
You are probably right in saying it ‘won’t be the last.’
Furthermore I will state publicly that I thought individual player medals would have been in order for yourselves, Vintage Celtic as winners and the runners up. Perhaps a mere couple of pounds extra per club, per round of fixtures could take care of this kind of recognition. Perhaps a minimum of four appearances throughout could be the cut off point. Alternatively, we are happy to reward our own players in this way. This was an outstanding performance, especially in April when we won all four games without conceding a goal.
Well done on coming up with the idea. We hope to be back – perhaps with two teams.
Well said ……organising an event is a thankless job and those responsible should be applauded and not challenged on every issue.
Some people are never happy no matter what!
Bill’s comments and analysis spot on again. By every measure Celtic were winners.
The organisation, facilities and standard of refereeing of this tournament was of the highest order. Paul and Bill, and the refs, have set the bar at a high level for the next ‘season’. Well done.
We would like to enter a team for the over 65’s cup on 9th June. We would enter as the ECCLES CAKES WALKERS. Please confirm our entry asap please. Bob Fletcher.
OK Bill – thanks for that. I did wonder what had happened, but things can go astray – I know that to my cost.
The game was formulated for over 60’s, and should be kept that way. If under 60’s want to play, then I feel they should play with under 60’s. I am 70 and the actual physical condition of our bodies deteriorates more rapidly as we get older (muscle wastage etc). We cannot cope with the strength or speed of reaction of anybody under 60. We have all been given a chance to enjoy playing the beautiful game at our pace and a new lease of life. Don’t let it be spoiled, when all we want is to play without fear of what could be crippling, or even life threatening injuries.
I agree wholeheartedly.
I think it is ok as it is pitch wise, it means the teams have to find a way to score. The pitch and facilities are brilliant, my team are getting used to playing walking football and we are improving. Looking forward to April, the organisers are brilliant.
While to some extent I agree with what is being said about the difficulty of scoring, the good thing is that it means that all the games are very close fought affairs. We recently played in a tournament where the goals were wider although not as high. Goals were easy to score and scores of six or seven nothing were commonplace. There is a danger that teams might become fed up and stop coming and that would defeat the whole purpose of the competition.
I think if D area was only six metres it would provide a lot more goals.
I agree with Derek on this one slightly too big.
A second attempt at posting here. The first seemed to disappear without trace. It can happen. I’ve tried to recall what I said initially, but there are differences now another day has passed since the competition in Manchester.
As our website has been linked within the article above, I think a summary of events is required.
The problem is a lack of assertive Referees, and may always be so. We pay our regular Referee £10. He is out of action at the moment but he is known to players in the GMWF league, he knows walking football and he is in my opinion anyway, excellent. We pay our own committee members £5 when they do the job but that money is merely diverted into a ‘buffet’ fund for entertaining guest teams. We make a mean sandwich.
Seriously? Effective refereeing is crucial.
We played four games in this ‘People’s Cup’ competition. I will leave running aside. We were as guilty as most. The main problem was physicality. Intimidatory tactics. Our team is largely made up of smaller, nimble players especially up front. They have phenomenal goal scoring stats in internal and external games. On Saturday we faced cynical aggression when some teams – desperate, it seemed, to progress, tried to intimidate them with bigger men of lesser talent. Didn’t work though, did it?
We lost just one game, 0-2 and did not capitulate under an element of physical duress. By no means all of our opponents on the day were dishing out inappropriate physicality. All of our games were filmed and it’s been really interesting watching them back. I acknowledge one of our players eventually reacted to being pushed – off the ball – but fortunately the opposition player moved away quickly to diffuse the situation.
All that said, it’s time to move on. Enough looking back on an afternoon that taught us much. The coverage given and reactions to, this subject indicates a wider malaise within this infant game that threatens to ruin it for many, and will drive groups like ours at Denton away from competition altogether. Which in its way is a shame, though not the end of walking football for those who embrace the true spirit of the game.
From now on TAMESIDE STRIDERS will pursue a largely ‘friendly’ game policy with teams with whom we can develop a rapport over time, and who share our ethos. Such as no studded boots on artificial surfaces, and no need for compulsory shin guards either. We make it publicly known that we play for enjoyment. Results matter but are not important, certainly not enough to set out to deliberately injure somebody. Those who disagree can go and play football, (or THEIR version of walking football) elsewhere. We derive more than enough enjoyment internally to keep us all playing for as long as our health allows.
The Nash Amblers, currently competing in the GMWF Over 60’s League in Division 2, with whom I co-ordinate matters and have a degree of input, are reviewing attitudes towards competitions. It is unlikely that Over 50’s tournaments will be on the radar any time soon.
Absolutely spot on you need strong refereeing for these games and consistency, or the game will break into 2 distinct levels 1) tournaments for these mean spirited sides, that have a win at all costs mentality that has not changed since they were playing in their 20s and 30s. 2) sides just playing amongst themselves, or against like minded teams who do it for the fun and love of the game.
I am 73 and have not played WF yet, but fully intend to soon out where I work in Kazakhstan and Turkey where I live and have been inspired by my younger brother who has been playing for 2 years now and it has helped him health wise and the making of new friends in his late 60s.
As our website has been linked here I will offer a reply. The lack of assertive Referee’s was a major problem. It may always be so. We pay £10 per game for our regular (excellent) Referee. Sadly out of action at the moment and who officiated at the last session of the GMWFL. We pay £5 To members of our committee when they do it – that money is merely diverted to our buffet fund for entertaining guests.
Our team is quite lightweight compared to some, especially up front. Mobile, nimble men with phenomenal goal scoring records in internal and external games. There was an attempt to intimidate them by much bigger men with lesser talents. We make it known that we play for fun and for enjoyment. That results matter, but are not important. Certainly NOT important enough to risk injuring people deliberately. At times on Saturday we faced cynical aggression. Didn’t work. Did it?
In future NO MORE Over 50’s competitions and TAMESIDE STRIDERS will pursue a ‘friendly’ game route with teams we can develop a rapport with, based on good humour and mutual respect. and whose ethos fits in with ours. For a start – no studs and no need for compulsory shin guards. The Nash Amblers are currently reviewing attitudes to competition but Over 50’s is not an option at the moment, and likely to remain so.
It is down to the referees, at the last Heywood meeting our first ref penalised all contact, shoulder charges, tackling etc. The second ref let things go and as a result niggles started resulting in an elbow to the eye of one of our players.
We play non contact at our club and every one enjoys it, that’s what we turn up for, a good time which is enjoyed by everybody. The competitive edge is good but if it is win at all costs then no-one wants to take part. The refs can ensure that this is not the case. We need to give them the authority and then support them.
Totally agree with everything said. I have just turned 70, I play for Senior Seasiders ( Blackpool). I love the game, it brings back memories of my early playing days in Manchester. I would hate for it to collapse for the sake of individuals who were probably as bad in their youth.
Referees are the answer, had a few really good ones, and a lot of young teenage refs who don’t show authority. I have seen plenty of bad tackles that warrant the sin bin, the only way to stop this is to clampdown on them. Maybe the only answer is to start paying for proper refs who are street wise.
If we want a better standard, we’re going to have to pay for it. Please don’t let this go on, would hate to see it fade away, I love the game, the banter, the Micky taking and overall, WE all LOVE the game. 😎
Excellent start Bill. There is an issue around footwear – close to my heart…and my instep. Soon resolved though I hope.
Paragraph four above? I think it was Rochdale Stroller’s who registered the biggest win of the day v Maccabi – not Chadderton. A mere detail.
Weather was very kind and the facilities were excellent, really hard to see how they might be bettered. A Portaloo by the pitches 🙂 (Joking). Great to be a part of it, a game or two more would be good, going forward. Congrats to all who organised and took part. A day to live long in the memory to be honest. I only spent fifteen minutes on the pitch but it lingers in the memory. The Nash Amblers may bring a slightly smaller squad next time but this a really good learning curve to be a part of. Will post on the forum too. Referee’s were good to very good. Some confusion around rules but that’s the most thankless job in the world and ‘encouragement’ or otherwise from the touchline doesn’t always help. Have a good holiday.
Great day Bill.
We all thoroughly enjoyed it (although we shot ourselves in the foot bringing 4 subs and weakening the team
by playing them all in rotation!!). Thought one foul against our midfield chap deserved a two minute benching penalty but otherwise the 2 refs were firm, fair and consistent.
Worth the long journey, but would be nice to get 4 games in (hopefully if numbers increase). Paul was talking about using 3/4 pitches at a future stage.
Looking forward to March and a Summer Over 65’s should be well worth a punt. Well organised, well run and a friendly day out in the end at “Last of the Summer Wine, Boys Behaving Badly’s Match of the Day”.
Steve H (AFC Blackpool)