A walking football team based in Formby, have had their entry fees into a competition with the Liverpool County FA paid for thanks to a donation from Redrow Homes.
Formby Community Football Club, based on Deansgate Lane, received £560 from us as part of a £5,000 voluntary community fund that was split up between 10 community groups and good causes around Formby.
Carl Griffiths, manager of the walking football team, said he set up the team after seeing the enthusiasm of parents and grandparents who regularly watch children’s football matches without an outlet for them to be directly involved. After a little research he found out that that walking football was a sport growing in popularity nationally. However north Liverpool, and in particular Formby, had no provision for participants of walking football.
“The single most important thing that we aim for is enjoyment, physical activity and socialising. Since starting the walking football team in June 2019 our numbers have grown week by week and the overriding feedback is how great it is having an outlet that the more mature generation can embrace. It’s a sense of belonging, fun and some mischief, having a team spirit and renewed feeling of achievement.”
Originally starting out with just eight members, the team, ranging in ages from 42 to 74, now welcomes 23 people to training every Monday evening with new enquiries growing by the week.
The five-a-side team includes players from all walks of life including one gentleman who suffers from Parkinson’s disease so the exercise is a huge benefit to him.
Some players have never played football previously whereas others are ex-semi-professionals. The group even had ex-Liverpool player and European cup winner Alan Kennedy play with them.
“There are a number of players who have previously met back in their youth who have now been able to reignite their friendship and love of the game,” Says Carl. “The feedback I have had on many occasions is that Monday is the best day of the week and they wouldn't miss it for the world.”
The walking football team has now entered the Liverpool County FA league, which a number of its members participate in, and have regular friendlies against other teams.
Lesley Myers, sales manager at Redrows Lancashire division says: “It’s great to see this club giving something back to the community. You can really see how rewarding it is for its members to have a team they can be a part of, no matter their age or abilities. It’s is our pleasure to help clubs such as this one bring improved fitness, socialising and confidence to its members and I wish them the best of luck for future games.”
To find out more about the team email Carl Griffiths on: firstname.lastname@example.org.