The sessions were opened in 2013 by Sir Jimmy Armfield, Ex-England, Blackpool Player who said “I only came to watch but once I was here, I couldn’t resist joining in,” said 78-year-old Armfield. “Once a footballer always a footballer”.
Dave Maclean, Community Engagement Manager at Blackpool FC Community Trust, was the coach at the first session with partners, Age UK and The Blackpool Council in attendance. Dave said “It’s amazing to see how the sessions have developed from the start when we only had a hand full of players to today where we were getting up to 30 players at a session before the Covid lockdown in March. It’s also great to see a number of these players still taking part in the sport with us.”
From these early sessions, The Senior Seasiders were created to be the competitive element to the programme and have represented the Community Trust many times including The EFL Trust National tournament, winning this in 2015 and as runner up in 2015. They also attend many other regional competitions with an over ’50s, ’60s and ’70s team. The Senior Seasiders have also played international games playing a team from Rolsvoy of Norway and travelling to Spain, winning the Torrevieja Tournament twice.
Steve Hyde, Senior Seasider’s secretary said “It has been wonderful to be a small part of the walking football provision in Blackpool over the last 7 years. Many new friends have been made and the health of our members has improved. Hopefully, we will still be up and walking in 7 years.”
It’s also great news that our face-to-face sessions start back up every Thursday at PlayFootball and if you would like more information, please visit our Walking Football page here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org