Gala’s walking footballers take first steps in Over 65s league

Relaxed pace - the Gala Fairydean Rovers walking footballers.
Relaxed pace - the Gala Fairydean Rovers walking footballers.

Gala Fairydean Rovers will be submitting a team for the inaugural Over 65s League, organised by Walking Football Scotland in partnership with North Lanarkshire Leisure and Health & Social Care North Lanarkshire.

The tournament will take place at the Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility in Motherwell, with games held over an eight-month period. The first set of fixtures will be held on Monday, March 11.

Prizes include a Fair Play Team, chosen by NLL coaches and referees and awarded at the end of the season, which will be presented to the team that plays with the true spirit of walking football.

Referees will also nominate a player from each team in a match over which they take charge. The player at the end of the season with most nominations will be awarded the Player of the Year trophy.

In addition, a WFS award, based on discussions with referees and coaches will take place to identify a player who contributes most to the ethos and spirit of walking football.

Gala Fairydean Rovers competed in Scotland’s first Over 65 Walking Football tournament, held last week at Toryglen in Glasgow. Sixteen teams from throughout the country took part, with Ayr United winning the competition.

GFR’s club chairman John Hislop said: “We now have 26 regular players and 11 members of our squad are aged over 65.

“The guys are all looking forward to taking part in this tournament – but walking football is about much more than competitive games.

“It’s a great way to get and stay fit and make new friends. The sessions are aimed at men and women aged over 50 and new members will be made welcome.

“We currently play each Monday and Thursday at either Langlee Community Centre or Netherdale, between 2.30pm-4pm.”

Pictured is the squad – back row, Sandy Chalmers, Jim McLaren, John Webster, Ali Paterson. Front, Grant Leitch, Tony Peyton and Mike Bisland.