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Lochgilphead Strollers may have gone back to Argyll with the silverware, but there was only one winner at the inaugural Over ’60s Walking Football Challenge Trophy tournament at Nethercraigs Sports Complex, in Pollok, Glasgow.
Primarily The Cystic Fibrosis Trust, to the tune of £3,587.43.
Such was the spirit of the day this total was quite simply a bye-product of the coming together of communities.
The extensive Kintyre/Mid Argyll walking football family, the wider Pollok United football base and the inclusive gathering of folk anxious to help from all over the west of Scotland.
Former Campbeltown police officer Simon McLean, whose daughter Louise died of the genetic condition, helped to organise the event and said: ‘Everyone taking part was keen to lend support and be part of something fun, together.’
The ‘boys’ were up for the tournament from the off, despite having travelled the furthest of the eight teams taking part.
After a resounding 7-1 win against Drumchapel United they went on to top of their section with someinspired team play, setting up an intriguing semi-final with the EK Geryhatrics.
This was a close fought game reflected by the 3-1 scoreline, and by this time the Strollers had lost their captain Russell Anderson, with a hamstring pull.
The team had a welcome break before the final, when a game of low-intensity
walking football was staged in order to involve as many players as possible.
‘On display were all of the elements that remind us of the intrinsic power of our
beautiful walking game,’ added Simon.
‘We witnessed first-hand the inclusive and broad reach of our sport. Walking Football is the catalyst for so much.
‘Physical activity for all levels, team bonding for everyone involved, a game that can be tailored for all abilities (and none) and an opportunity to involve so many in days like this.’
Like every single match in the tournament the final was played in the true spirit of Walking Football.
A really good game was reflected by the score line, Giffnock SC 2 – Lochgilphead Strollers 4.
With the chairman of Walking Football Scotland, Gary McLaughlin on hand to
present the prizes, and Wagamama providing the catering, a great time was
had by all, before the Argyll lads set off for home with all the trophies, including the Man of the Tournament award to Arthur McCulloch.
Simon said: ‘This was a day when the best of human spirit, generosity and
companionship was displayed. The beautiful walking game is alive and kicking.’
The Lochgilphead lads, aged 50 upwards, play on Tuesdays from 6pm – 7pm on
the astro at the joint Lochgilphead Campus.
They have played in a few previous tournaments at Toryglen, Glasgow Green, St Johnstone and Stenhousemuir. And won an over-60s tournament out in the Algarve in October 2019 (pre-Covid).
The team on Sunday was as follows: Russell Anderson (C) age 63, Stuart Johnston (62) Jimmy Litster (62) Neil Anderson(62) Duncan Crawford (62) Arthur McCulloch (61) and Duncan Litster ( the baby) at 60.