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  1. Published on: 10/10/2017 08:04 AMReported by: rogerblaxall
    West Lancashire walking footballers are competing in a tournament in Portugal.

    All the players are over the age of 50 and play regularly at Edge Hill's sports campus, and as they live in Aughton, Ormskirk, Burscough and Skelmersdale, the team is simply called West Lancs.

    It is the first time that West Lancs have been represented as this annual tournament, and the team are grateful to Howdens Joinery, Ormskirk which provided them with socks, shorts and shirts.

    Paul Williams, branch manager, told QLocal: “We are delighted to help these guys and we wish them every success.”

    There are walking football sessions at Edge Hill University at 12.30pm to 1.30pm on Tuesdays and Fridays; the game was first played in 2011 by the Chesterfield FC Community, but it was a 2014 Barclays TV ad featuring a bloke called Roy extolling the wonders of walking football that took the sport to the masses.

    The activity is popular with regard to health benefits because it encourages middle aged and senior aged men to participate in exercise they would not normally do. It is said to be a good way of getting over leg and hip injuries, as it is played at a slow pace and can be seen as low-impact football at a walking pace.

    The number of walking football clubs registered in the UK has now doubled to more than 800 in the last year.

    Graham Lucy from the group said: “Walking Football was invented to inspire men over 50 to get more exercise and counter social isolation, and now thousands of older men – and some women – are now rediscovering the joys of football by playing it at a more leisurely pace.”
     

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