A Grimsby footballer has made it into the England’s national footballing squad, and is now set to represent his country in Over-60s Walking Football.
Roy Gladwell (64) from Grimsby, was nominated by Grimsby’s football club, to take part in a trial organised by the Walking Football Association (WFA).
After impressing the national selectors with his skills on the pitch at Burnley FC Gawthorpe Hall training ground in March, Roy was selected to join the WFAs 21-man squad. In his trial match he played against Alan Kennedy, former Liverpool professional footballer, winning this game 2-0.
A regular player at Lincs Inspire’s walking football training sessions, and a keen advocate of the game, Roy said:
It is a great honour for me to have been selected for England’s 21-man squad. Who would have thought at my age I would have the chance to represent my country!
Nothing is certain in football, but I’m delighted to have been selected for the 21 man squad and, hope as a shadow squad member, I can be involved in the near future.
Narrowly missing out on being named in the over 60s national team’s 10-man squad, who played their first international game against Italy last weekend at Brighton’s Amex Stadium winning 3-0, Roy is looking forward to future matches competing against the best walking footballers in the country and beyond.
When I was younger I played at a reasonable level, playing in the preliminary rounds of the FA cup and also playing the FA vase. I started playing walking football in 2012 and, having been retired now for three years, I manage to fill my time playing the game I love.
I play walking football for Grimsby and Sheffield United and also play recreationally for Barton, Caistor and Immingham. There’s a group of us who meet up every Friday at Lincs Inspire’s Bradley Football Development Centre and we have a great time; it’s not only good for your health, but it’s social – it promotes better mental health as well.
Roy also plays veterans football, narrowly scraping into the 36-year age cut off! Roy said:
I recently played 90 minutes in midfield and I could certainly feel it. But it’s good for me, playing in the open age and the veterans 11-a-side game, because the youngsters do not laugh so much when I talk about walking football as they know I can still play their game. I tell them it’s not as easy as they think!
I would encourage people to come and join us and see what the game can offer. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never played before. Walking football is great for people of our age. It’s good for weight loss, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, it gives high levels of satisfaction and reduces stress levels. The all-round health benefits are tremendous.
Lincs Inspire’s walking football session takes place every Friday from 11am to 12 noon at Bradley Football Development Centre, Grimsby. For more information call (01472) 325300 or just turn up. It costs £2 per session.