Over 50? Love football? You’ll never walk alone

Irena & Petros

A team of veteran soccer players who formed a ‘walking’ football team in Tonbridge are lining up today (Wednesday June 1) in a countywide tournament based on the growing phenomenon of the sport.

The quirky take on the beautiful game, which penalises players if they run during matches, is aimed at people over 50 who have previously played at a younger age.

Player Fred Long, a retired civil servant, says the recently formed Tonbridge team has proved a perfect social outlet for the group of veteran footballers.

He added that the team, which presently trains weekly at Tonbridge School, is still in need of kit sponsorship for future fixtures and tournaments.

The players have spent months training and are now ready for the Kent County Football Association-backed festival at Abbey School in Faversham, where they will take on teams from across the region.

The event will also raise money for several causes including Demelza House children’s hospice, and is themed around the 1966 World Cup.

Fred, who has been nominated for a Perry’s Exceptional Award for community services after his work with Building a Dementia Friendly Tonbridge, said: “I’ve been playing football since I was a kid growing up in Millwall nearly 40 years ago.

“Having turned 50, I thought I’d probably end up taking up golf, as it’s something you can play into your 80s.

“But then I saw that a Tonbridge walking football team had started up and it’s been really good playing six-a-side with people from all across the area.

Anyone interested in sponsoring the walking football team should call Mr Long on 01732 506096.

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