Gala FR step into walking football’s national arena

The Gala Fairydean FC walking squad.
The Gala Fairydean FC walking squad.

Gala Fairydean Rovers took part in Scotland’s first ever national over 65s walking football tournament, which was held in Glasgow last week.

Sixteen teams from throughout the country attended the event and Gala were drawn in a tough group along with Dundee, Oriam from Edinburgh and Gerihattricks from East Kilbride.

The morning session started with a 2-2 draw against Dundee then a 1-1 draw with Oriam, who equalised against the run of play with the last kick of the game. The final fixture ended with a 2-0 defeat to Gerihattricks.

The afternoon session saw a change in fortunes and Gala beat Dundee 2-0 before losing by the same score to Oriam.

The team reserved its best performance for last and ended the day with a comfortable 2-0 win over eventual runners-up Gerihattricks.

Team coach John Hislop said: “I thought the ‘lads’ were unlucky to go out in the group stages, having dominated the majority of games we played in. Only some fine goalkeeping by our opponents prevented us progressing to the semi-finals.

“We had a number of excellent individual performances but a special mention has to go to our top scorer, Grant Leitch, who played all six games with a heavily bandaged arm.”

Congratulating winners Ayr United, Hislop added: “The whole event was a great success and is likely to be repeated next year.

“Walking football is a great way to make new friends and keep fit.

“I would urge anyone who is interested to turn up at Langlee Community Centre between 2.30pm-4pm each Monday, or Netherdale between 2.30pm-4pm each Thursday.”

Pictred, back from left – Sandy Chalmers, Jim McLaren, John Webster, Ali Paterson (captain). Front, Grant Leitch, Tony Peyton, Mike Bisland.