Blues delighted to be taking part in exciting finals day on Tuesday 7 June.Footballers aged over 50 are getting another chance of glory thanks to a National Football Competition from the Football League Trust’s
This year’s Walking Football Cup has involved over 1000 men and women aged over 50 from throughout the country who have been representing their local Football League club. Southend United are delighted to be in the final 10 teams who will take part in an exciting finals day at St George’s Park on Tuesday 7th June
The nine other finalists are; Blackpool FC, Bristol Rovers, Colchester United, Middlesbrough, Mansfield Town, Nottingham Forest, Plymouth Argyle, Wigan Athletic and Sheffield United
Walking Football is a slow-paced version of the beautiful game aimed specifically at the over 50’s. The competition is backed by football legend, Jimmy Armfield, who, comments, “As you get older the opportunity to participate in team sports lessen – ironically at the age when you most need to keep active. Walking Football is designed to help people keep an active lifestyle despite their age, as well as getting those back playing football who had to stop due to injuries. Simply playing 1 hour a week for 3 months enables players to cover 30 miles and burn 4,200 calories!”
In addition to the cup itself, ex-players and legends of the game Terry Angus (Fulham FC) and David Busst (Coventry City) are part of the PFA Legends teams that will make a return to the game at St. George’s Park testing their skills at Walking Football. For David in particular, he feels very passionate about Walking Football after suffering a severe leg injury that ended his professional playing career, "It’s great that I can be part of this event, like many footballers, amateur and professional, that suffer from a severe injury, you don’t know when and if you will return to the beautiful game. Walking football is a fantastic way of reliving my fondest memories; it brings back my love of the game. I hope that by playing I can inspire more men and women over the age of 50 to take up Walking Football."
The competition comprised of 5 regional events with over 60 team competing, with the top two in each region qualifying for the finals. April Smith, from Southend United Community & Educational Trust comments "It is massively important to the trust that we keep the older demographic active and linked with the football club. We have been running walking football sessions for nearly 18 months now and to reach the national finals just shows exactly how far we have come. It not only keeps their bodies active but also helps those who can become less social as they get older."
Walking Football has grown massively over the last few years and as the name suggests it is non-contact and anyone that sprints, runs or jogs while the ball is in play will be penalised with a free-kick awarded to the other team.
Peter Osborne, 60, is a regular player from Southend United commenting ‘’ "I am delighted and proud to be representing the club at this highly prestigious event. Walking football has had such a positive effect on my mental and physical well being into my senior years and has helped to expand my social circles. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to undertake a bit of exercise in an enjoyable and totally inclusive environment."