Story added: 6th November 2019
Representing the Three Lions, CSF's Walking Football team defeat Wales in Merthyr Tydfil
Our over 60s walking football team ended a memorable year in style, defeating current International Walking Football Federation (IWFF) world champions Wales in Merthyr Tydfil over the weekend.
The squad have had the dual-honour of representing the Three Lions as well as the Canaries since March, following victory in a IWFF National Tournament.
Their spell as England representatives has seen them take part in the inaugural IWFF World Cup in May, where they joined other teams representing nations from around the world.
Saturday’s round of international friendlies – catering for walking teams across a range of age groups – gave the team the chance to get one over the World Cup victors, Wales.
Spurred on by the added excitement of pre-match national anthems and the chance to play in Merthyr Tydfil’s stadium Penydarren Park, the team took a two goal lead thanks to smart strikes from Mark Reeves.
Wales came back strongly in the final third of the 60-minute encounter, but only managed to find the back of England’s net once.
Victory was a sweet moment for player Nigel Garner, who said:
“Wearing the white shirts, navy shorts and white socks of England on Saturday really brought home the importance of the occasion, and we really rose to the challenge with an excellent performance. It’s not every day you get to beat world champions in their own backyard!
“This past year has been a wonderful experience for everyone involved. It’s been the stuff of dreams – a generation ago playing football in your sixties would have been almost laughable.”
While next year the international team selection will move from open tournament winners to a team selected through Regional and National trials, Norwich City CSF will continue to represent England until that squad is formed.
To find out more about the Foundation’s walking football programme, click here.
The Walking football team in action at this year’s World Cup: