Team walks to victory in first tournament

Walking Football team champions from left to right, Simon Clark (52), John Royal (52), Barry Wood (55), Stuart Downham (53) and Stuart Thomson. (53) seen holing the 'golden boot' for best player of the tournament! (s)
Walking Football team champions from left to right, Simon Clark (52), John Royal (52), Barry Wood (55), Stuart Downham (53) and Stuart Thomson. (53) seen holing the 'golden boot' for best player of the tournament! (s)

They thought it was all over, until they discovered over 50’s walking football!

Proving age is no barrier when it comes to sport, a local over 50’s walking football came home as the champions following a trip to Portugal in their first tournament.

Stuart Thomson (53) from Clitheroe, set up the team almost two years ago after reading about the growing popularity of the sport and the multiple health benefits.

He said: “After playing football nearly all my life and suffering multiple injuries as a result,

“I had to stop playing 10 years ago but missed not only playing, but the team camaraderie. I had read about walking football but when I looked for a local team noticed the lack of any so decided to start my own.”

Known as the “beautiful game but at a slower pace” Stuart, who won the Golden Boot for best player, was approached by organisers Browns Leisure from Portugal to join the tournament.

Eight teams competed from across the UK over two days and the lads finished the first day only having drawn one and lost two which meant they had to play the top team from the other group, but as torrential rain and thunder torms hit, the northern lads showed what they were made of after a penalty shoot out.