Peebles walking football club celebrating tenth anniversary

Former Rangers striker Steven MacLean, third from left, presenting honorary life membership certificates to Tweedvale Walking Football Club founders Colin MacDonald, Findlay Ferguson and John BlairFormer Rangers striker Steven MacLean, third from left, presenting honorary life membership certificates to Tweedvale Walking Football Club founders Colin MacDonald, Findlay Ferguson and John Blair
Former Rangers striker Steven MacLean, third from left, presenting honorary life membership certificates to Tweedvale Walking Football Club founders Colin MacDonald, Findlay Ferguson and John Blair
One of the Borders’ most successful footballers ever has paid tribute to Tweedvale Walking Football Club for pioneering that version of the game for older people in Peebles.

Former Rangers, Heart of Midlothian and St Johnstone striker Steven MacLean was guest of honour as Tweedvale, one of Scotland’s first walking football clubs, celebrated their tenth anniversary.

The 41-year-old also presented honorary life membership certificates to the club’s three founding members – John Blair, Colin MacDonald and Findlay Ferguson.

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“It’s been an absolute pleasure to be able to show my appreciation for these guys and to see the success of the club,” said MacLean, manager at St Johnstone for six months last year.

“Findlay and Colin spent so much time helping me develop as a kid, so it was an honour for me to give them something back.

“I think walking football is massively important. It’s a bit of everything really. Guys like Findlay and Colin, who played football all their days, are still getting to play and enjoy that bit of competition, they’re getting out and meeting old and new friends, and you can just see how much joy and fun they get from it. It’s fantastic.”

Edinburgh-born MacLean, about to take up a role as first-team coach at Scottish Championship side Queen’s Park, reuniting with Callum Davidson, says he’s inspired by his Peebles mentors.

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“I know, as a retired professional, that there comes a time in life when you can’t do what you used to do, but these guys, and the women involved too, are showing us that that doesn’t mean we just stop,” he said.

“I’m delighted to be getting back into coaching and I’m looking forward to it because it’s what I’ve always loved, and a lot of the inspiration comes from these guys.”

Past and present players, friends and opponents – including walking footballers from Edinburgh – celebrated the Friday club’s tenth anniversary at the Green Tree Hotel in Peebles, looking back over their ongoing expansion and tournament appearances as far afield as Portugal.

Jillian Scott and Amanda Renwick, two former Scottish Borders Council employees involved in securing funding and helping launch the club in 2014, were also there.

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Club chairman Steve Iredale added: “It was a really enjoyable occasion and great to mark the first ten years, and the men who started the club, and are still playing, and the people who helped them do it.

“Walking football has been very important for the Peebles community, and as a community in itself, welcoming all people regardless of age or ability.

“With Tweedvale, we keep the social aspect at the heart of everything we do, and with our new website, https://tweedvalewfc.wordpress.com/, now launched, we are hoping to use this tenth-anniversary celebration as a springboard to welcome new male and female members and grow our teams. There is so much to look forward to.”

The event also featured a raffle to raise funds for the Peebles Youth Voice.

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