“Despite my advanced years (67 now) I’ve always played football. I played 11-a-side league football until I was 52, the last 15 years or so in the Lancs & Cheshire League with Vymura (Hyde). When a group of us oldies finished at about the same time we continued playing 5/6/7-a-side every Saturday at Copley and still do.
I was introduced to walking football by the ex club captain, Brian Coll, about 12 months ago. I was approached by Brian to give it a go but wasn’t easily persuaded, the Barclays Bank TV advert did not conjure up a game I would enjoy but Brian had another crack and I was persuaded to give it a try ….and I’m so glad I did! My first experience was the League organised by Man City at the Etihad. Wonderful facilities, matches played competitively but in the right spirit. This was followed by a number of week-end tournaments in Summer 2015 where we gave a good account of ourselves, winning 2.
Since my introduction I’ve shared my experience with friends of similar age who play at Copley and, pleasingly, we now have another 6 or so walking football enthusiasts who have joined ‘Vintage’. It’s a game that can be played by a wide range of abilities and Vintage cater for all, as evidenced by our training sessions on Monday and Wednesday evenings.
The added bonus is meeting a new group of friends with a common interest, not only in football but walking football AND Vintage Celtic. Our ‘re-hydration sessions’ after Monday training and week-end competitions (in the ‘Lord Stamford’, Stalybridge) are now approaching professional standards! Long may it continue!
I would finally just mention a ‘thanks’ to Staylbridge Celtic FC for their support and provision of kit in competitions and the work undertaken ‘behind the scenes’ by Mike Smith their Community Development Officer, with considerable support from the Vintage players Committee, primarily Brian Coll and Bill Murney.”
“I finished my football when I was 26 to get married, raise my children, work hard and earn money. Now it’s time for me to play football again. I’m now part of a new team and a new group of friends. Love it! Stuart Greaves, age 58”
“My name is Tony and I am 63 years old. I found out about Vintage Celtic after going on an 8 weeks health and fitness course run by Tameside and Glossop NHS. I was disappointed to find out that after the course there was nothing organised to go on to, however, another member of the course said he did walking football and anyone was welcome to come along.
I had seen the Barclays Bank advert which shows people “playing” walking football while at the same time using their I-Pad to photograph it and thought that this wasn’t for me but as the only other option was to join a Gym, I decided to give it a try, and I am extremely glad that I did.
The game itself is nothing like the Barclays ad, and from the very start the other players, all of different abilities, made me feel welcome. I attend 2 sessions a week, Monday and Wednesday evenings and not only have I lost a few pounds, which makes me feel healthier, but by making a new group of friends I also have a better social life.”
“I would like to say how much I have benefited by attending regular walking football sessions. One of the best things about it is not just keeping active but enjoying the banter that goes with being with such a friendly bunch of people. Long may Vintage Celtic continue, come along and take part.
“I have played and trained with Vintage Celtic a few times now and the various types of footballing effort that they present are top draw. Bill, Mike and Brian are very good at running sessions etc. Only wish I could give more of my time to them because the lads who play are a cracking set of lads and I would loved to have played with them in their prime. Well worth turning up for a session.”
“I started walking football just under 12 month ago at Glossop and I could not believe how many people were involved, I also play at Denton. I do enjoy the competitive side of the game, winning is a feeling just like when I was younger – brilliant. The pains a bit different, you cannot get over it as quick but when you win pain means nothing at all. I have met some new and some older friends. I am a diabetic so doing walking football has helped me to control my condition and I also lost nearly 3 stone. For me bring it on.”
“For me walking football has made a great difference to my fitness and well being. 18 month ago I had not kicked a football in anger, or in my case got in the way of a football in anger for almost 30 years. Its improved my level of fitness and sharpness. I enjoy the competitive side of the game once again. Socially it has opened a few more doors too, especially ones in bars but the less said about that the better.”
“Walking football provides regular exercise and good company for retired guys who may not get much in the way of physical activity.”
“I started playing walking football in September 2014. It’s been a new lease of life for me after losing my wife and suffering from depression. Mentally I am still in my 20’s and it’s great to relive your youth amongst people with a similar outlook. Although the knees aren’t what they were and the lungs have seen better days, it’s great to be still kicking a ball about at 71. The guys at Vintage Celtic are a great bunch, making all newcomers feel very welcome, even the ones with limited football skills”