65’s Competitive

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Counter installation 18th.September 2019

December 19th….and the Autumn League ends….

The Editor spoke to a jubilant Colin Fielding a couple of hours after the Over 65 team returned from another decent day at Heywood Sports Village in the Greater Manchester Walking Football League
Seven Striders a.k.a. ‘  The Badgers’ stepped out at Heywood Sports Village today for the final round of the Heywood Over 65’s league, their division one status hanging in the balance.
65’s regulars this season: Mike Kieran, Steve Foster, Rob Lake , Alan Brodie , Colin Cuthbert and  Joe Bemrose were boosted by the addition of experienced campaigner Colin Fielding, on loan from the Over 70’s squad.  Team player/manager Gordon Nixon and stand in/assistant John Smith were unavailable.

  • – –
    The first test saw Salcom held to  a goalless draw, although Striders played well in this game penetration – or the lack of it – was once again their  down fall. Still, a point in the hand as they say was not a bad beginning.
  • – – –
    Next, came  fellow relegation strugglers Rochdale Strollers who had been rooted to the bottom of the league but were having a good day that got even better when they beat our ‘boys’ with a ‘world class’ goal from regular GOALKEEPER Ron Blakeney, who was playing outfield as a late arrival.  Who would have believed it ?
  • – – – –
    The fact the Strollers were doing so well stiffened  the resolve of the ‘Badgers’ who next faced Man C.   Inspired by their wily little midfielder Neil ? Man played well but couldn’t breach the Striders defence.  Victory looked nailed on when Striders were awarded two penalties in quick succession. One for ingress , which Colin Fielding Flamingo’d just wide of the mark.  Colin again tried his luck  a few minutes later but the Man ‘keeper (no outball , no outball ?) saved the spot kick.   Colin persevered despite the double set back and was a rock in the Striders defence, along with Lake.
  • – – –
    All afternoon Cuthbert energised the midfield and Brodie too popped up here there and everywhere with a telling contribution.  Joe Bemrose always ready to pull his weight and using his passing ability well. Foster’s defensive capabilities are well known but he was also employed up front at times.
  • – – – –
    Still these two teams cancelled each other out and thankfully Man couldn’t get the ball past Mike Kieran in the Tameside net and they shared a point apiece.
    Rochdale were still ‘flying’ –  in  a points gathering sense – rather than ‘Strolling’ and so much depended on our final game against the walkaway Champions elect Bury Relics. This team had a commanding lead going into the day and the Badgers were facing a cull just like the plucky, resilient ,  indigenous  black, white and grey mammal which gives us our nickname.
  • – – – –
  • “Knowing we had to get something from the game galvanised the team” said  Colin Fielding.
    It was nip and tuck. Relics forced a couple of saves from Kieran but nothing looked likely to get through.  With Fielding himself, and Lake solid at the back, plus Steve Foster pushing forward Striders were looking good in this one. With the score level and time running out, the last minute ticked away and it looked like our  First Division status was ticking away too.

    Steve Foster

    Then, a route to salvation.   In the dying seconds Striders were awarded their third  penalty of the day.  This time by Referee Mr.Wilmore.
    Colin Fielding immediately  took control of the situation,  and ushered Joe Bemrose towards the ball with words of enouragement for the ‘Royton Rocket’.  Whatever words they were they did the trick.  Bemrose unleashed the hammer and the ball found the corner of the net, low and lively leaving the Relics ‘keeper with no chance. We beat the Champions !
    Time was soon up and that spot kick preserved the Division One Stiders and sent Strollers down as a rueful Steve Colesby told Fielding as the teams left the pitches.

  • Joe Bemrose – cometh the hour cometh the man !

    Finishing the day, and the league on a high note confirms the likelihood of a return in March. We shall see. We may well have some  new recruits by then, and there is much to ponder. Please Feedback from  the box below





Comment or Message
All today’s games were really hard and competitive with end to end battles all over the pitch. The games we felt we could win didn’t go our way and the ones we were a bit worried about turned out to be really good games.
Conceding a single goal and beating the eventual champions was very rewarding for our squad. I personally enjoyed every part of it and felt we all played well together bearing in mind the several changes to our team.
Well done everyone we all put in a great shift and the commitment was fantastic.
(Great penalty Joe, was big Col’s advice helpful?)  Colin Cuthbert



14.12.19  And this week we see the end of the GMWFL Autumn league for our Over 65’s.

Putting a squad together has proved a bit more problematic than usual as Player/Co-Manager John Smith is unavailable to lead the team in Gordon Nixon’s continued absence.  Gordon will be back playing very soon we all hope.  Joe Bemrose – walker up in the Player of the Year vote as revealed this week  has been a willing stand-in for our group Chairman and we thank him for his support. Colin Cuthbert is determined to shrug off an injury in time to play.  Steve Foster and Rob Lake continue in defence and Colin Fielding will transfer for the day from his Over 70’s role as Player/Manager as he will miss that particular appointment  in  January when he’s away. Mike Kieran will be in goal for us again and Alan Brodie will have five kits. Rob, you’re reminded you have your own at the moment , but  please hand the items to Alan at the end of the day. I think we need a reasonably successful day to continue in Division One. The main thing is of course that everyone enjoys themselves and nobody comes home limping, or worse. The organisers are continually trying to drive up standards in this league but that also needs the co-operation of the players who play in it.

If anyone is travelling to support the team and wants to film  a couple of matches or more,  I will make sure they have the group equipment and will get some video of the end of this campaign in the can.

Good luck to all taking part at Heywood – meanwhile back at H.Q. in Denton we’ll unveil some of the training equipment for a dry run. Anyone wishing to stay on and have a go will be welcome.


November 21st. 2019…and it was a tough day at the GMWFL Heywood..

GMWFL 65’s  league table after November’s games,  with thanks to the  league’s organisers:

John Smith reports…

Striders squad today, Thursday 21st November 2019.
Mike Kieran, Steve Foster, Rob Lake, Colin Cuthbert, Alan Brodie, Joe Bemrose, John Smith.
It was a cold and windy morning at Heywood, but thankfully, it stayed dry. With Gordon Nixon and Mike Conroy missing, Joe Bemrose returned to what was a seven man squad. The plan for the day was to keep Mike, Steve and Rob at the back for all four games and rotate the other four players to play three games each.
Joe started on the side for the Man C game, which was this month’s first fixture.
Honours were fairly even in this one, with Mike Keiran making a couple of really good saves and Colin Cuthbert testing their keeper at the other end. Our opponents thought that they had scored right near the end, but tha referee rightly disallowed the strike for a blatant run. Not much incident and we well below our best in our passing and retention of the ball.
Striders 0 Man C 0
With Alan Brodie on the bench this time, we were straight back on against league leaders Bury Relics and our passing woes continued. We couldn’t keep possession and were under pressure from a constant stream of Bury attacks. Kieran again made some vital saves, but it was one way traffic for most of the match. Bury made the break through and added a second soon after. As ever, they played a very physical game, Colin Cuthbert especially coming in for some rough treatment.
The referee finally had enough and awarded Striders a penalty for a fifth infringement. John Smith stroked the ball into the bottom corner, but was adjudged to have taken a microstep before scoring. With no VAR available, the goal was ruled out, with even our opponents expressing disbelief at the decision.
The final whistle went shortly after and it had been another underwhelming performance from Striders.
Bury Relics 2 Striders 0
A 20 minute break and the third game against Rochdale started with Colin on the sidelines. A change of formation was put in place for this one, with John Smith playing as a lone striker pushed right up in the opposition half. We finally found our rythym and dominated the game from the off. The lone striker tactic paid off well, when Steve Foster’s accurate long pass found Smith unmarked on the left and the curled right foot finish found the bottom corner. A good platform to build on was then unfortunately conceded when Keiran uncharacteristically let the ball roll out of the Dee and the opportunity was  immediately capitalised on by the Dale striker.  We still continued to press, but couldn’t find the winner. A disappointing draw in the end.
Striders 1 Rochdale 1
With Colin still struggling from his injury sustained in the second game, he volunteered to sit out the last game, so we took to the field with the same side who played Rochdale. Salcom were a much changed outfit from the team we played last month and passed and moved the ball well from the off. They looked the more likely team to score, but when they did, it was another poor goal from our perspective. Bemrose won the ball back well, but his back pass was a little underhit. Following it in, Joe stepped into the dee and a penalty was awarded to Salcom. The kick was poor, but somehow managed to squeeze in between the unlucky Mike Keiran’s legs. No further goals were forthcoming, so we ended the day with just two points from our four games.
Salcom 1 Striders 0
Thanks once again to all who took part. Despite it not being our day, heads didn’t drop and team spirit remained high. One more session in December, and we’ll need to beat Rochdale next time out to ensure our place in division one.
Photo: S White

Thanks to John for his comprehensive and honest report – Ed.


Denton Calling : dateline 20th. November 2019 –

Tameside Striders are back at Heywood tomorrow for the penultimate November round of the Over 65’s league. 49 years to the day since your editor and his better half Susan  ‘tied the knot’ at Hyde Registry Office. But I digress. Back to walking football matters.

  • – –
    With an 11-00am start against Man ‘C’ on pitch one the squad has recalled Joe Bemrose for the second time this Autumn campaign and we travel with  a squad of just seven. Michael Kieran will again keep goal and Gordon Nixon  remains unavailable post surgery.

    Gordon Nixon
  • We all wish Gordon well and his absence has meant the league games have lacked something this time around. I know he’s hoping to attend the F.P.L. next week with his Bees.
    Mike Conroy is also unavailable this time around.
  • John Smith

    John Smith leads the team and after the men of ‘Man’ we will face in form ‘Bury Relics’ on pitch 2 more or less straight away  No fossils these and they topped the league the last time I looked. With goals the perennial problem for the ‘Badgers’ we will need to be tight at the back as we are bound to come under pressure here.
    Next up after  a breather and  it’s Rochdale Strollers.  As the home team we will need to wear bibs (a hot topic at the moment at Striders H.Q.). John  has a set of yellow numbered ones in his possession and at the ready.
    The morning will conclude with another match with Salcom on pitch one. Our squad will hope to stay injury free and from what I know it will consist of Kieran / Foster / Lake / Cuthbert Brodie/Smith/ Bemrose
    Alan Brodie has the outfield kits. He will be reminding Rob Lake to take his home and bring it to the FPL otherwise he will have to make do with an ill fitting shirt, and we can’t have that !

  • Alan Brodie

    Alan has kindly agreed to launder the rest of the kits and hang on to the rest of the individually labelled bags  until the December round when I hope to be there to collect them myself and if in time will capture a couple of games on video for Tamestriders T.V. – so big  thanks to Alan.

  • Incidentally D.W.F.G. may soon have some remarkable news on the shirt front ( no,  we’re not talking sponsors here, so  don’t worry)  of interest to everyone who is ‘signed on’ and plays regularly at King Street.
  • Good luck to our team tomorrow.





Striders returned to Heywood for the October fixtures buoyed by the returning Rob Lake and Gordon Nixon who had missed the September round due to holidays. Joe Bemrose and Alan Richards stepped down to accommodate them and there was a late replacement in the form of Mike Taylor who came in for the injured Alan Brodie.
Good to see David Fielding in support once again
After sitting out the first games, we began against Salcom with Taylor  and Nixon ‘on the bench’. In a fairly even opening 5 minutes there were limited chances at both ends, but we began to get on top in terms of possession and territory ,  forcing  the Salcom keeper into a number of saves. Rob Lake made a marauding, almost ‘Beckenbaueresque’ foray upfield and played an excellent ball in to Colin Cuthbert, who finished first time in style.
 (hope you’re reading this Rob – Ed.) The advantage was quickly doubled, Colin finding the net once again, this time from a John Smith through ball. The two quick goals killed the game dead and we saw out the rest of the time comfortably on top. A good game, well refereed by Mr. G Pearce
Salcom 0 Striders 2
– – – –

No rest this time and we were straight back on against Bury Relics, probably the strongest side in our division and featuring Stewart White in goal. Rob Lake sat out with Gordon Nixon and Mike Taylor (the latter  making  his Striders debut).

Mike Taylor
Our opponents play some good football and are obviously used to playing together as they move the ball well,  and keep a very disciplined shape. They ran out comfortable 2-0 winners with two well worked goals that Mike Kieran in the Striders goal could do little about. Despite being a useful footballing side, they also tend to be quite physical and Garry Pearce had reason to speak to several of their players regarding physical contact. In the end though, no arguments, we were beaten by a better side.
Striders 0 Bury Relics 2
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A short break again and we faced Rochdale in game 3.  Cuthbert took a well earned rest after getting an elbow in the ribs in the previous game, and Nixon replaced Taylor. After watching Rochdale  get thoroughly outplayed in the previous game, we fancied our chances in this one. However, our opponents took the game to us from the off, (they do seem to raise their game when they play us!) and we struggled at first to get back into it. A lot of wayward passing didn’t help, but we did begin to exert some control and their keeper was forced into a couple of good saves from Smith and Mike Conroy.  Conroy did have the ball in the Rochdale net, but had just stepped into the ‘D’ by 6 inches, so the goal was ruled out. Neither side could make the break through, so the game petered out in a 0-0 draw.
Rochdale 0 Striders 0
– – – –
Straight back on again for our final game against ‘Man C’. Smith and Conroy sat out, which allowed Steve Foster to play in a more advanced role.  Man had most of the possession, but in boxing parlance, failed to lay a glove on us. Kieran in goal was untroubled and we defended well, limiting our opponents to shooting from distance. Foster worked tirelessly up front, but by this stage the goalless draw was looking more and more likely.
Man City 0 Striders 0
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So, a better return points wise this time out, as we took 5 from our 4 games. A three point win definitely helps when there are so many drawn games. Let’s hope for a couple more next time out.


Tameside Striders Over 65’s travel north to Heywood once again for the second round of Autumn League GMWFL fixtures.  Thursday October 17th. sees them up against Salcom,  Bury Relics, Rochdale and ‘Man’ C  in that order once again. All but the Rochdale game on Pitch one closest to the gate.
With Gordon Nixon returning along with defensive partner Rob Lake the Striders might  once again make it difficult for opponents to score but must surely address the problems at the other end of the pitch – scoring goals ourselves.

Alan Brodie sustained a hamstring pull at the Nash yesterday.
Last weeks stand-ins are unavailable. With Alan Richards committing to Denton Thursday’s sessions ,  and Joe Bemrose laying laminate flooring at home the call went out to Mike Taylor to make his debut in the black and white stripes.

Mike Taylor – experienced

Mike was going to sample Denton Thursday himself for the first time this week but jumped at the chance to return to the Sports Village where has made many appearances for Vintage Celtic in the past.  He will join former teammate Mike Kieran of course, our now regular goalkeeper in both the 65’s and 70’s leagues.
Find out how the ‘Badgers’ progress right here  ,  rest assured as soon as we hear from the team management we’ll get the results and their report on to this page.
Good luck team !


AUTUMN LEAGUE –  a full preview may soon appear but we see the return of Gordon Nixon and Rob Lake.  Alan Richards and Joe Bemrose step down, but the latter may be back next month.  It’s not an entirely settled squad so far this Autumn but there are good reasons for that.

October fixtures –
John Smith’s verdict….
“On the face of it, four 0-0 draws would seem to reflect 4 boring, sterile stalemates. Far from it! All four games were full of action and incident, with some fantastic saves made at both ends to ensure the blank returns.
The weather was unseasonably warm and the going was tough from the off. Despite playing in the higher age group (65’s) the games were just as competitive, skilful and hard fought. Match one v. Salcom was fairly even after a slow start by Striders. Mike Kieran in goal made some fine saves, but we also tested their keeper and a draw was a fair return.
Another slow start against Rochdale, but we grew into the game and largely dominated proceedings. The Dale keeper was in fine form against us, (after conceding 3 in the first game) and thwarted Bemrose, Conroy several times, and Smith.
Against Man City we were second best and needed the in form Kieran to keep us on terms. We rarely troubled their goal and the draw was a decent outcome.
Steve Foster had to leave early for his bowls match, so Smith moved to the back in Steve’s absence for the final game v Bury. This was another rearguard action and at times we were clinging on a bit. More good keeping from Kieran and another hard earned point to finish.
Thanks to Alan Richards and Joe Bemrose for standing in for the absent Rob Lake and Gordon Nixon. Both played a major role in the days proceedings. Mike Kieran was outstanding, as was the ever reliable Steve Foster at the back.
Colin Cuthbert, Alan Brodie and John Smith all worked tirelessly and Mike Conroy put in a hell of a shift as the lone striker. Thanks to all involved today and it was nice to see Alan Graham in attendance and obviously on the mend” John Smith.
Reporting September:
September squad
Time constraints and the fact that Rochdale F.C. were on the pitches until eleven o’clock on the dot meant the initial customary address from Paul Gardner was done on the grass near the car park.
Our first game was the second on pitch one.  Earlier we watched Bury Relics score three goals to beat Rochdale Strollers convincingly.  We knew we faced the Relics in our final game and they would test our mettle.
Salcom were our first opponents.  The Mancom of old. This game became increasingly physical as time passed and that wasn’t our doing.  That’s the impression I formed at the time but video will / might confirm.

talking tactics?
Salcom dominated play but couldn’t finish. We rode our luck and gradually stabilised but talks beforehand of formations and tactics tended to go ‘out of the window’ really as they always do beyond the most basic.  A post denied Colin Cuthbert  the chance to ‘nick’ three points for us but we were satisfied with  a nil-nil draw in this one.  We straightway faced Rochdale Strollers (video links on the site)
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Colin Cuthbert made way for Alan Brodie in this one. Strollers were the home team here and they donned bibs  as their black and white stripes clashed with ours.
If I say our goalkeeper, Mike Kieran  was the man of the day for us and the following statement takes nothing away from that but Ron Blakeney was in magnificent form today and but for him we would have recorded our first win.  It would have been emphatic too !
He was injured near the end but recovered well enough to carry on.  A series of excellent saves thwarted our forwards as sought to press home our advantage.  Strollers had their moments too but Foster was commanding at the back.
– – – – –
After  a short break we were up against Man C on pitch four. Alan Richards was drafted in for Brodie and John Smith oversaw proceedings from the touchline as Cuthbert returned.
Colin Cuthbert
Man were lively, with the diminutive number 3 running quite a lot as well they dominated the play but Mike Kieran pulled off some great saves to keep us in the game. We defended well but with  their high press  game Man forced one or two errors – the new back pass rule flummoxed us a bit and we may need to introduce this into our recreational sessions to help us adjust to competitions such as this one.  The ‘keeper has to get more distance on his clearances when the opposition press is high – it’s not an easy thing to do.  Kieran took  a heavy knock in this one and lay prostrate for a minute or two.  Finally climbing back to his feet and carrying on like the trooper he is.  I’m sure Man thought they were going to pierce our defences in this one but although they huffed, and puffed they didn’t really get close thanks to the man in green. Smith took over from Richards half way through but we struggled to get rhythm into  our passing.  However the stubbornness at the back saw us take another point.
– – – – – –
Finally it was Bury Relics on pitch 1.  Where we had  both begun and where they had been so impressive and we hadn’t.   What would transpire?
Richards returned for Bemrose,  and Brodie too as Steve Foster had to depart.
We began okay in this one but Relics moved the ball well and found their men more regularly. We fashioned a couple of good opportunities but the final ball wasn’t quite right.
Bemrose came on for Richards and we were holding our own.  Bury went closest but their finishing had deteriorated over the course of the morning .  Probably just as well.   Smith added resilience to the Striders mix.
– – – – –
So, an undefeated start to the campaign and if those chances against Rochdale had gone in we’d have been highly satisfied with the mornings work. As it is we will look to have our rovers returning next time to give an even more solid look to the defence and allow the likes of Smith and Conroy to probe for openings in  a more advanced position.
Full credit to Mike Kieran today he kept four clean sheets and was definitely our playmate for September. Video coming soon. Feedback panel below….
Mike Kieran
“Yes I agree with both summaries on today’s matches at Heywood. The 4 matches were truly competitive and we rode our luck a little. Our Goalie Mike was our best player by far.
Our 1st game we were inches from winning when the goalie was well beaten and the ball struck the upright to rebound to safety and Mike’s many efforts in our 2nd match saw several brilliant saves. Could have been 6 points and not the 4 we finished with. Well done everyone, we were not beaten.”
                                                                                                        — Colin Cuthbert
Preview September:
So, the summer months that separate Spring from Autumn are but a recent memory and we trundle up the road to Heywood Sports Village for the first round of fixtures in the Greater Manchester Walking Football League.
I say ‘trundle’ but no doubt those of us with more modern and perhaps more  fuel efficient automobiles may be tempted to break into  a sprint. So long as that’s the road and not the pitch they can’t touch you for it. If you pass ‘Bob’ on his  way give him a toot.

Significant absentees include Gordon Nixon and Rob Lake.  Both of those Heywood since its inception players were caught out by the late date change.  An unhelpful move which was reportedly  due to the leagues seemingly endless expansion and a need to get off the pitches when the allotted time is up.
– – – –
Fortunately for our groups such issues don’t present  much of a problem in our Fair Play League which is also on the verge of kicking off again very soon. More on that later.
With newcomers‘ Salcom’ presenting a slightly different look to the first division fixture. This may be just  a namechange though as I understand the team is actually the ‘Mancom’ of last season.
‘Rochdale Strollers’ and ‘Bury Relics’ are well known to us in this league and we wind up the day with a game against the latter.  Game three presents  a genuinely  new challenge against ‘Man’ City .
– – – – –
To cover for the aforementioned  absentees Joe Bemrose has volunteered his services for the day and is gratefully included into the squad. Alan Richards will also turn up dressed & ready to play .  Both players figured in the same side yesterday but their team  was put to the sword three nowt
by  a team of over 67’s ! Richards is available for emergencies – mind you with kit on and fairly fit he might feel tempted to get a few minutes on the pitch if the Player/Manager John Smith sees fit.
– – – –
Mike Kieran – staggering agility

We have a new goalkeeper in new garb.  Mike Kieran in  a branded Striders jersey eschewed the chance of padded pants, because they cramped his style, which can be flamboyant . Mike’s agility is legendary and the way he regularly throws himself around for the cause can be staggering.   We are delighted to have Mike on board.

—  – –
Other changes from last season see the evergeen Colin Cuthbert join the squad. Combative in midfield and with a goal in him too Colin has done the Striders some damage in the past for opposition teams so lets hope he can infict just  a little on our behalf this time.
– – –
Three players don the ‘Badgers’  black and white stripes for the first time. John Smith himself  of course and  his trusted defender Steve Foster who , along with Mike Conroy figured in last Spring’s campaign at Heywood.  New white socks will complete the ensemble tomorrow – placing fewer demands on the kit man’s time, and washing machine  ahead of the F.P.L. when the Badgers will revert to ‘hoops’
Lack of goals have blighted the Badgers in previous years so lets hope we can rectify that and get off to a promising start.
Alan ‘Chief’ Brodie
Alan Brodie completes the line up wearing the number nine shirt. Some of us will remember Alan opening the scoring in our night match against Roach Dynamo some time ago (video link below) a fine four-two win that night, let’s hope it’s an omen. (No pressure Al) .
You will  see the results reported here tomorrow (Gawd willin’) and there may well be film and photographs to record some of the events of this opening round.
Tally Ho! and enjoy…..
Roach Dynamo friendly – <here>


Not the easiest thing to work out but these are the fixtures for the 19th. September as received by me in an email…


Joe Bemrose comes in to bolster the squad as both Gordon Nixon and Rob Lake are unavailable. The league changed the date of these fixtures and the re-arrangement leaves these two stalwarts unable to attend. The team will be player managed by John Smith and the squad is as follows:



August 16th Update:

The Over 65 team will be re-entered into the Heywood GMWF League.

Out of the squad goes Steve Hampson (Maccabi) , Alan Richards and Martyn Heath (both opting solely for the F.P.L). We have a splendid new goalkeeper in Mike Kieran who is becoming a regular at most of our sessions.

Kieran ‘keeper kit

Drafted in to bolster the squad is John Smith (Nash Amblers).  John will manage the team in the first months fixtures as Gordon Nixon is away. When he returns we will have an eight strong squad. All except one have now paid their £20 entrance fee and a cheque will be going off in a few days time. Striders will revert to black and white stripes this time around.

If the group Secretary is in town at the time  he will take care of kit matters on the day, and sort it out for the October round too. Once we’re at full strength the squad will consist of Kieran , Nixon, Foster, Lake, Conroy, Cuthbert, Brodie and Smith J.

all sett




  • – – – – – – -not long to go…




‘Mancom game’ – part video plus others <here>

organisers report is here <click>


Ultimate round:  June 2019….

an objective review from a personal standpoint

Grey skies overhead but the rain held off – for a short time anyway.
This was Heywood today. As eight Striders gathered in yellow and black.  The Tigers ready for what lay ahead and keen to keep hold of their Division One place.
A brief look at a new free kick routine with a novel idea from Mike Conroy – another of the games thinkers. We didn’t quite perfect it but it’s worth another look sometime when and if we ever get really serious about this game. Training sessions perhaps ! Now there’s a thought. Perhaps someone could develop it if there’s a demand. There is some spare space at King Street often on a Thursday morning.

  • – –
    First up came Bury Relics the league leaders and eventual Champs. We played okay and held our own. Dave Partington was little troubled. They were quicker, and more physical and eventually conceded a penalty (the combined contact/running FIVE time tot up for a penalty is impressive, in my opinion anyway). Mike Conroy stepped up and we were all confident he would score so good has he  been of late. We didn’t reckon on the superb Relic’s keeper who saved Mike’s accurate kick. Hard luck. A draw though and a decent start.
  • great save

    Incidentally if that kick had been converted Bury Relics would not have taken the title.
    After the usual forty minute hiatus, our next game saw a weakened Rochdale Strollers side hardly get a kick ! We dominated the game totally and went close via Conroy and Colin Fielding but couldn’t penetrate. They lost their Goalkeeper to injury too which didn’t help them. We were allowed to play well in this match and were complimented afterwards by Steve Colesby , Rochdale veteran. Some of the match was filmed but it may take a while to get it into the public domain. Only so many hours in the day folks!

  • – – – –
    Third game saw us pitted against relegation rivals Chorley. Lake and Conroy were our substitutes. Once again we got some of the game on video. (Thanks Al Brodie).
    Yours truly started in this one and didn’t do much wrong. However , we went behind early on and sensing the in-form Conroy was more likely to bag a goal for us , I went off and he came on. We had to avoid defeat in this one, but we did better than that. First Steve Hampson found the net with a good goal slotted home , reward for his energy. Then Conroy came good with a winner ! A welcome three points and we could now breathe more easily about staying in Division One (although all relegation really means is that you play a different set of teams, at different times on different pitches. Que sera, sera. In my view there is no shame in slipping down.
  • – – –
    Somewhat buoyant, we marched across to pitch four where Mancom were waiting in black bibs. We fancied our chances here too, having beaten them last time out. Steve Foster had taken his leave which saw a defensive trio of Nixon. Lake and Fielding linking up with yours truly in midfield and Mike Conroy. Stephen Hampson was ‘on the bench’ figuratively speaking.
    Mancom (Manchester Community Walking Football) scored quite early. We were rocked…and shocked!  Feeling the pace and not having played much at all in recent weeks I recognised the tireless work rate of Hampson was wasted on the touch line and again substituted him for myself. Dave Partington made a tremendous full length save from a Mancom rocket shot that was slightly deflected.
  • — –
    Shortly after this a defensive error, in trying to dribble around a man saw us lose possession and get punished as Mancom doubled their lead.
    At two nil down a comeback never looked likely and we finished with a defeat.
  • – – – –
    Personal note: To be frank my limited involvement was not enjoyable. I am finding these GMWFL league games too intense to enjoy. You worry about letting down others. Letting down yourself. We tend not to be too critical, to hang our poor performers out to dry, but the last game today saw us struggle a bit in most departments.
    The presentation in the hall at the end saw a mention for ‘managers’ who might bellow instructions and harangue mistakes and poor performers – that’s just not us. Certainly not me.
  • – – – –
    However, many of the team enjoyed themselves once again. I’m bucking the trend and won’t return to this format of the game. Just a little worried about putting my lower limbs on the line at this moment in time.
    We can review our group commitment for the next campaign when the dust has settled on this one. Some players from both the Ashton and Denton groups are crossing thresholds in terms of age. Bill Murney tells me there will be involvement at Heywood EVERY Thursday of EVERY month from September – December . Three more teams want to join the Over 65 league apparently. We will decide in July about any future for our own F.P.L. league from the end of September. I consider that as a kind of halfway house between recreational sessions and the highly competitive nature of Heywood. Happily an opinion shared by most people I speak to.
    There HAS to be a difference or there’s absolutely no point in staging it.
    Striders today P4 W1 D2 L1 F2 A3 Pts.5
  • the squad

Any thoughts?….


Here is the provisional outline of Plan ‘A’…what’s that line about mice and men??

let’s take our teeth !



Regretfully we are without Peter Jarvis and Alan Brodie due to injury. Stewart White and Martyn Heath are unavailable.  We have splendid replacements lined up and here is the way we’ll line up, following consultation with co-Manager Gordon Nixon Until it all changes –  probably about half past eleven on Thursday if not before  🙂 !! – Ed.



May (not Theresa)  quotes…

“Well done lads, sounds like you played some great football in a comprehensive report by Alan” – Dave Fielding

“A great day at Heywood for Striders, having to blend in new players and poor weather conditions. We competed well in all games and I would say we were never outplayed. Our only loss was really unlucky when an intercepted pass went directly to their poaching forward who got lucky. Mikes goal was sublime, from a free kick situation we worked on, no keeper would have got to it. Very well done guys it was great to be part of it.” – Colin Cuthbert

Organisers report <read>


The ‘Manager’s view’….May 9th 2019.  TIGER FEET PHOTO ALBUM <HERE>

Alan Richards

A quite remarkable week for football, with Kaptain Kompany’s famous strike, the Anfield miracle and a Tottenham side more lifeless than Lazarus coming back from the dead the world of WALKING football, the world of Tameside Striders responded with an Over 65’s WIN at Heywood.
Mike Conroy was the man of the moment v. Mancom. But first, the story began with reinforcements , most welcome in the shape of Colin’s Cuthbert and Fielding, the latter stepping in at short notice.
With Gordon Nixon checking out 15th. century battlefields we needed a couple of twentieth century battlers to shore things up.

  • – – – –
    With light rain a feature of the morning on and off, those cheap umbrellas proved a liability as on opening one of ’em the damn thing blew inside out ! It wasn’t even that windy ! Four pairs of hands helped me get it sorted but to be honest, they do not inspire confidence.
    Not everything in black and white is a bargain !
    Filming and camera work was obviously limited in these conditions.
  • – – – – –

We opened in the usual way. Bury Relics. With Colin Fielding and Martyn Heath held back from the fray, such as it was allowed to be.
Regular Referee Mike Wilmore was much stricter than we’ve seen him before. Than we have seen ANY of them before. Penalising lots of running early doors. Both sides incurred his opprobrium. Steve Hampson transgressed this harsher code twice, and simply had to be replaced by Martyn Heath. Four minutes time out would not have helped the cause. We faced a sharp learning curve but so did Relics, and they conceded the first penalty kick , which Mike Conroy tucked away with a fine ‘Flamingo’.
We looked to close the game out. For about ten seconds. Then concentration slipped and we reverted to a normal game. It’s against my nature to shout ‘park the bus’ from the touchline and so we continued to go toe to toe with Bury. Inevitably we were penalised a fifth time too. A mixture of runs and contact (I quite like the new rule, personally) . Stewart White our ‘underaged’ ‘keeper got a hand to the spot kick but the powerful strike found the net.
That’s how it finished. One – one.

  • – – –
  • I spoke directly to the Referee after the game and told him I was supportive of his lack of leeway on running. ‘So long as we have consistency’ I added.
  • – – – – – – –
  • We were rather chastened by the tighter rein,  and not awful lot of running followed in the next game, it has to be said and both sides recognised the regime equally.
    Referee Wilmore later applauded our improved – slower – approach and was obviously pleased we had paid heed to his more rigorous requirements.  We were not outplayed in this one by any means, although Rochdale – relying on a goal hanging number nine won the game one-nil. We lapsed in concentration just the once for this fellow, in his advanced position to capitalise on our lack of diligence. We don’t apply such tactics ourselves, but they maybe worthy of consideration. The forward lying striker ties up a defender. It’s a role I wouldn’t mind occupying myself, because you’ll leave the field breathing normally with a dry shirt, I would expect. Food for thought though, and we might try it next time. Live and learn. Mike Conroy was on ‘the bench’ (if only we’d had one) for this game. The inclusive policy where everyone gets decent game time employed once again.
  • – – – – – –
    A new Referee for our third game v. Chorley, fellow strugglers in this league. Another team in (our own natural colours) black and white stripes. We matched them for endeavour and actually moved the ball very well for the first few minutes. We were minus Steve Foster by now as he had to be in Hyde Park soonish (not the one with the adjacent famous corner, closer to home). With Martyn Heath reverting to wing back and Colin Fielding given licence to forage further forward, we looked threatening on occasion . Colin Cuthbert was on the touchline for this one. It finished goalless and we didn’t really threaten to penetrate.
  • Fielding further forward….
  • .
  • – – – – – –
    We’d been advised at the start that any games scheduled for after one pm. might be moved to a peripheral pitch. With that in mind, I enquired with the organisers moments before our final match with ‘Mancom’ if we were good to go on pitch 4. A thumbs up. A hasty ‘run’ (yes. really) to break out the Blue bibs from ‘Bob’ and away we went. Only for the Referee (Mike Wilmore once again) to stop play after three minutes. We had to move. Rochdale F.C. wanted the space.
  • – – –
    Unsatisfactory but go with the flow. Hiccups occur. No big deal.
  • – – – –
  • We were moved to a side area with inappropriate marking and full sized goal posts about two feet from the side touchlines. Not good. To make matters worse though, other games took precedence on the ‘annexe’ and we had to wait. The ‘D’s ‘ were HUGE but obviously  the same for both sides. I was told by someone who knew that last week six games involving decent players were staged on these pitches and no goals were scored. I had no problem believing it.
  • – – – – –
    Anyway we eventually got going three minutes into the scheduled fifteen. The rain returned in dribs and drabs. We were playing the game a bit better than Mancom on this occasion, and dominated the play. Conroy loosed off a few shots and he wasn’t the only one. The co-operative Alan Brodie was substitute for this one with Heath and Fielding once again forming the defence. An industrious Steve Hampson, who had slowed himself down across the morning, feeding Cuthbert and Conroy. ‘Shoot on sight’ was the management message of the morning and it obviously resonated with those forward players.
    Eventually the tactic paid off with Mike Conroy fastening onto a ball and letting fly from about twelve yards.
  • Conroy lets fly…
  • We all know Mike packs power in those thighs of his and when the ball is on target there’s a fair chance a ‘keeper won’t stop it. So it proved. Delight at the very end. There was only a minute to play. Winning is not everything, we all know that. But it puts a nice gloss on a dismal morning weatherwise and if it doesn’t propel us up the table, at least we won’t sink any further. (I think)
  • GOAL !

    Well done all. Not quite the miracle of Heywood, or a comeback to rival Lazarus but hey! We got five points from the day. Enough to have me reaching for only a second beer of the week! those who know me will recognise that’s quite an achievement…..
    …well done all the players today. Competition for places will hot up next month as yours truly would like to play at least one game this ‘season’ and Chairman Nixon returns to the fold. Thanks to Peter Jarvis for turning out to support whilst injured.

    Colin Fielding
  • Also to Colin Fielding for answering the call and also for bringing his dispassionate reasoning to my ears. I was open to it.
  • No video – some pics on Flickr later :Back in June for the final round – Alan Richards


next fixtures May 9th…


Greater Manchester Walking Football Over 65’s Spring League 2019
Division 1
Bury Relics v Tameside Striders 11:00 Pitch 1

Rochdale AFC Strollers v Tameside Striders 12:00 Pitch 1

Tameside Striders v Chorley FC 12:40 Pitch 1

Mancom v Tameside Striders 13:00 Pitch 4

The third round of four is already upon us.
Gordon Nixon is unavailable  and Peter Jarvis has withdrawn with a calf strain. Alan Richards continues to ‘save himself’ ahead of his holiday and wants no reaction setting in ahead of two weeks in the Highlands.
Colin Cuthbert , after apearing for Bury Relics and scoring against us in the last round has agreed to join the Strider’s squad and he is most welcome.

We will have seven players, with a possibility of Colin Fielding shoring up the side as Steve Foster is only available for the first three games. Colin’s experience has taken on an international dimension recently as he has been playing over in Spain. The wily Stalybridge man brings guile, resilience and enthusiasm to any team he plays in and he can also score a goal or two moving up from deep. He’d be a valuable asset, I’m sure.

Mike Conroy is back this month, and Stewart White continues as our underage goalkeeper.
I’m sure the fixtures will have a familiar ring. We must hope the ‘toothless tigers’ of last month find some goal scoring bite and we can look to Conroy and Cuthbert in that regard, with Martyn Heath and Stephen Hampson looking to bring their ‘shooting boots’.
All players will get substantial time on the pitch as is our custom in the over 65’s.

We go into this penultimate round of games locked on level points (6) with Chorley at the bottom of this league. Hard work and commitment will see us put daylight between them and us and a little luck would not go unappreciated . That said, win , lose or draw enjoyment is the name of this game and we’d all do well to think along those lines.

Alan Brodie

Alan ‘Chief’ Brodie makes up the initial septet and if Colin Fielding turns out then the teams will look something like this under plan A.

Subject to change, of course.

Game 1) White – Brodie – Foster – Hampson – Conroy – Cuthbert Subs: Heath/Fielding
Game 2) White – Fielding – Foster – Heath – Conroy – Cuthbert Subs: Hampson / Brodie
Game 3) White – Fielding – Foster – Conroy – Heath – Hampson Subs: Brodie / Cuthbert
Game 4 (probable) White – Heath – Brodie – Hampson – Cuthbert – Fielding Sub: Conroy
Note: I have not had the fixtures yet but we must presume it’s Bury Relics/Rochdale Strollers/Chorley and Mancom in that order once again.


Organisers table: <check>

Organisers Report <read>

Overview: Heywood  65’s 11/4/19 – scroll down for feedback box

Silent movie v. Relics – <watch>

Striders v. Mancom <here>

NETCAM v. Chorley with Alan Butler <here>

Yours truly was filming at Heywood today (11/4/19) and as such you don’t get a full picture of what’s going on through the lens. But, I’ll try to encapsulate the morning in a few , hopefully well chosen words.
We Over 65’s played four games. We were down to seven fit players. I once again withdrew from the squad and have ruled myself out of next months league programme too. Hope to be back for a game or two in June.
The sun was beginning to radiate some warmth and the strong winds we’ve experienced at Heywood recently were mercifully absent this morning. The stage was set for a good session of walking football.
First game saw Alan Brodie on the bench as we took on Bury Relics. They had good chances within the first two minutes and we were very slow out of the blocks both positionally, and awareness wise. We were second best in this one really and when they took the lead it looked ominous. They added a second through Colin Cuthbert, which was a little hard to take if I’m honest, but it was a good goal. Colin will be wearing a Striders shirt next time around.
Rochdale Strollers were next up and a good natured game brought a goalless draw. Both teams had half chances and Stewart White kept Strollers at bay. I think they were struggling a little due to injuries. Alan Brodie came back in for us for this one as Martyn Heath reverted to subsititute. All of the team worked hard. There was a little more lateral movement but a couple of free kicks were squandered. We need to get to know each other better and be more aware – strongest feet and things like that – concentration and focus were better, and this continued onto the next game.
Chorley – another team in Black and White stripes came to pitch one next. We tried a different tactic , pushing Martyn Heath up front but I have to say that formations go out of the window in this game, when movement is fluid players pop up everywhere and trying to establish a pattern is difficult. Well, it is for us. Maybe that’s why we struggle to make a breakthrough.
I put a ‘netcam’ behind the Chorley goalkeeper, Alan Butler and it was a good move. We pressed quite hard in this game but could not really find much to test him.

Hampson lets one go….

Shots went wide or any that were on target were taken comfortably. There’s no doubt we really miss a hard hitter. Someone who can pack a punch in their feet. Maybe Colin Cuthbert can provide added firepower next month. Another game where neither team managed to open their account.

Hard luck Steve

We decamped to pitch four for our final game against Mancom. Another game where we pressed hard, and to be fair so did they on occasion.  From what I can remember, neither goalkeeper was unduly troubled though, and once again it ended goalless. All of our players put in an honest shift this morning and early afternoon. No shirkers in this squad. Gordon Nixon worked like a Trojan pushing forward in the final game as Stephen Hampson came off for a well earned rest halfway through. Alan Brodie was sent on to release Gordon upfield but Troy as he might nothing came off in font of goal.

Brows glistened with sweat in the Spring sunshine as the players trooped off. (have to report the shirts currently hanging on our washing line were wet with sweat too – eeww) Steve Foster, Pete Jarvis, Martyn Heath and Nixon with Stewart White’s three consecutive clean sheets can be pleased with themselves . Sooner or later a goal or two will come and we’ll start to move up the table.
We will have some still images and almost every game of ours was filmed so look out for links over the coming days.
Thanks to our Referees, I don’t think we presented them with too many problems today although we sailed close to the wind of five contact/running offences on at least one occasion. Next week the ‘Seventies’  will be back to try to consolidate their position at the top of the table. Their younger counterparts will be hoping we’re not at the bottom of ours tonight.
Negatives for me? Seeing someone SITTING on our ‘Black Box’ at the end , sagging, and looking likely to crack! It didn’t, thankfully – ‘KEEP OFF’ in large letters on the lid clearly not enough. Words were exchanged.
Positives away from the games – great to see our squad in the new black and white jackets – superbly turned out and looking very professional. I must say I miss seeing Striders in Black & White , but the Badgers have become (for now) the ‘toothless tigers’ in black and yellow. I’m certain the tide will turn soon and we’ll have the last laugh on those who were singing ‘I hear the sound of distant gums’ near the end.
SQUAD: White, Nixon, Foster, Brodie, Jarvis, Heath, Hampson, Richards.

Add your own comments below & I’ll get them up on site soon.

Dave Fielding

“great report Alan, I thought you were really unlucky and definitely deserved more points from your hard work”

Gordon Nixon

“Excellent report Alan Fair and Honest”

Jim Bobwey




The Over 65’s Tameside Striders squad aka ‘the Badgers’ are back on the road to Heywood tomorrow.
Following last months games we lie in fourth position in the Division One table.
This month we will be without Mike Conroy, who is unavailable. We will number an eight strong squad for the four games ahead of us.
The weather looks to be fairly benign, this time. That cold, cutting wind has been evident all too often on the Sports Village 3g. We will again be playing in the black and yellow kit and a plan has been drawn up to give every player some game time. (Plan B. below)
There will be a report of proceedings here of course, let’s hope we can get a first win under our belts this time around.



Subject to change of course. Plan ‘A’ lasted an hour !  Unfortunately Mike Conroy is not available this month.


PLEASE SIGNAL YOUR AVAILABILITY IN THE BOX BELOW – Messrs: Conroy, Heath. Other players (Hampson, Foster, Richards, Nixon, Jarvis, Brodie and White)  have made their availability clear today (Monday) .  We will go with a plan formulated by Alan and Gordon. All will get significant game time.  Please meet at Heywood 10-00am. Shinpads and Photo i.d  a must. Ta.




League table after four games: <check it?> 

Organisers official report < here >

First half v. Chorley <shoot>

Game v. Rochdale Strollers <tamestriders tv>

Game v. Bury Relics is now online on Tamestriders T.V. <tune in>

55 photo’s from Heywood 14/3/19 on Stridershots Flickr pro feed –  <click>

Heywood Spring 2019 – a Striders perspective…

From our Heywood correspondent_______________

With plan A in tatters and Plan B consigned to the bin Plan C saw eight fit Striders arrive at Heywood with Alan Richards an overnight casualty as his old ‘war wound’ flared up leaving him unable to sleep, walk or a combination of both at 2-00am this morning.
The old irrrepressibles gathered at the Sports Village, Heywood as the heavens were opening.
Wetness gave way to wind however, and that never let up all morning. If there was ever any hint of ‘spectacle’ the gusty conditions put paid to it. It was virtually impossible to play controlled walking football in the gale that ensued.
First up opponents Bury Relics took the lead and looked like keeping it until Mike Conroy conjured up an equaliser. We got out of jail and Mike, highly visible in his yellow hat sprung the lock.
Then followed a forty five minute hiatus. Coffee perhaps, or a loo visit? What do you do? We decided to look for Chorley’s dangerman to see if he was still  running a lot. But no sign of him in the Chorley ranks as they were the next team to face ‘the Relics’ away on Pitch 4.
We spotted him later playing for the Manchester Corinthians team, who were beaten by a Chadderton team ,  looking good in their superb new shirts – light blue/dark blue broad stripes.

  • – – – –
    Eventually we took the field again. Our home ground today of Pitch One – handy for the gate, and the van in which a couple of delicious Lancashire cheese and tomato oven bottom barmcakes were waiting. To be honest, my  personal highlight of the day.
  • – – – –
    We faced Rochdale Strollers and never really looked like winning this one. A goal down and then they scored again. Putting the result beyond doubt really. We applied ourselves well,  but couldn’t create much.

  • – – – –
    The best move of the day was taking the ‘dry box’ which proved popular with all and sundry.
    Another wait. Then came game three. This time the Chorley Magpies were visiting and a scrappy game in the sunshine, those clouds scudding along in a westerly direction propelled by howling gusts. I might have to overdub the video because no ‘wind-cut’ on any camera I know will silence such a din.
    Yet somehow it was not cold. Coming from a more benign direction than last March’s ‘beast from the east’ this westerly wind did not bite at ones bones. The Chorley game was goalless – thanks to Peter Jarvis for filming it for me as I shot off a few still photographs.

At the end the customary handshakes, little rancour this morning , that I saw anyway. I did hear some player had seen a red card but no idea , or interest in identifying who he was or what team he played for. None of my business anyway, really.

  • – – –
    Straight back into action against the red bibs of Mancom, covering yellow shirts. I thought they were a pretty decent outfit and asked us some questions all of which were answered by Nixon and his men. I filmed this one from the tripod  and hopefully it will turn out ok. We showed good energy levels here, all players worked hard.
    No sign of wind reduction, quite the contrary. Hopefully, things will have settled down by the next time, including my mobility problem. It would be nice to get a game or two in the team if selected.
    Thanks to all who turned out today. And a happy sixty-sixth birthday to Martyn Heath.
    (I appreciate the game details are brief – the pictures will tell a fuller story , but if you want to add anything e.mail me please and I’ll get your thoughts on the website.) Video and photo links to come.


The Tameside Striders over 65 squad will consist of nine players – the maximum allowable under the rules.
Stewart White will come in as our ‘underage’ goalkeeper. Stewart is agile and has sharp reflexes, his presence as custodian should be a boon.
Steve Foster, Stephen Hampson, Mike Conroy, Peter Jarvis, Martyn Heath and Alan Brodie complete the squad.
Gordon Nixon and Alan Richards are the co-managers of the team. Attention will be given to providing every player some game time. An inclusive approach, although common sense dictates that we will sometimes have to make changes based on performance , capability and opponents.
Most of us are experienced Heywood players and know what to expect. We’ll need to take some patience, as well as water and nourishment. The games are spread over 2 hours fifteen minutes and across a meal time. Let’s face it, One pm. is a long time since breakfast !
We can establish base camp by the side of pitch one, where we play our first three games. First up, at 11-00am. we play ‘away’ against Bury Relics. We then have a forty five minute wait before facing Rochdale Strollers away, at NOON on the same pitch. We will go cold during the wait. Bring something extra warm to wear (yes mum)  AND we must utilise this time with a warm up routine on the car park if necessary at about 11.50am.

  • – –
    After that we face another twenty minute hiatus before Chorley await, again on pitch number one at 12-40pm.. This team is fairly speedy, and Chorley generally have a reputation for physicality. We must hope we have a good Referee. We should have time to watch Chorley on pitch number four at 11-20am. against Bury Relics with time to talk about it before we start our warm up. Don’t be surprised if we depart from Plan A at this, or any stage.
  •  — –
    We finish our Heywood day at 1-00pm. with a game against Mancom (Manchester Community Walking Football – Nash Amblers enjoyed a very nice friendly with them last summer and emerged comfortable winners). This game will be played on pitch four. I have no idea which Referees will be involved in our games.
  • – – – – –
    Let’s face it folks the aim of this game of walking football is to enjoy it, come home in one piece and walking normally (apart from me – my gait is all my own I’m told) . We have some half decent players with us and all but Martyn are familiar with Heywood. It can be a bit intense for sure, but let’s look on our programme as laden with breathing space rather than being kept hanging about. We can hope the weather warms up just a tad – and it might.
    Badgers on the road, looking like Bees ! With non-Bees shirts , brand new YELLOW shorts and BLACK socks the Kit’s all packed. We’re ready to roll.
    So let’s try to have a good time. Win, lose or draw.
  • – – – – – – – – – –

Co-manager Colin Fielding’s words following the GMWFL final round…

“It was between Blackpool and Tameside Striders as to who would retain their Division 1 status for next year both starting the final day on 8 points after 12 games played with 4 games to play on the final day.
Striders came away with 4 points from their 4 games and Blackpool only 2 points. Success.
Striders had 2 new players in their squad; Martin Heath and Eric Lloyd, both strikers and had excellent games, Peter Jarvis returning after a serious injury combining well with Stephen Hampson in midfield. Gordon Nixon, Colin Fielding and Rob Lake were excellent in defence not conceding a goal all day. Man of the day was David Partington who was outstanding in goal, never in danger of conceding a goal.
4 games played, all 0-0 but 4 valuable points.
Well done to everyone, still in Division 1 next season starting next March.”

Colin Fielding

Note:  For those who may not know him, Eric Lloyd is a signed on Strider. Recruited for this  late stage of the Autumn campaign in  a bid to provide more firepower in front of goal.  Any regular Denton players Over 65 who wish to take part at Heywood need to contact Colin or myself during the early part of next year.

ORGANISER’S REPORT OF THE FINAL SESSION with  a few photo’s in their gallery.<click>

GMWF Autumn season standings:…and the standings from Spring 2018: given that two more games were played there’s very  little to choose between the two campaigns. One goal scored in  sixteen Autumn games, just three in eighteen in the Spring. It’s clear where problems lie.  If you see this as a problem, that is. Inclusivity or merit ? There seems little to choose between the two different approaches in terms of success, or the lack of it. For me, it’s success to get a team  there and play the game in something approaching the right manner.

Well done all

December squad:   Over 65’s for Heywood.
Dave Partington
Rob Lake
Gordon Nixon
Colin Fielding
Stephen Hampson
Peter Jarvis
Martin Heath
Eric Lloyd
Meet at Heywood tomorrow Thursday 13th December at 10am. bring form of photo- identification other than bus passes.
Everyone has been notified and confirmed ok.

Let’s hope we can score some goals for a change.

£5 per player to cover entry fees. Watch this space for a report.


Fixtures for the December league final session + league tables can be found <here>


Bill Murney’s official report of the November round of games is here <click> He has used some of our video footage to highlight running in  a message to competing clubs, and also cited our game with Blackpool V.S.S. as a better example of Walking football.  There is value in video, (warts and all) –  and I’m pleased the clips can be used in a constructive way by a person of some influence who wants what is best for the game. I share that motive and if we can help in some small way  to spread it then so much  the better – Ed.

Colin Fielding’s viewpoint:

Tameside Striders had 3 players, Rob Lake, Stephen Hampson and Stuart White a late replacement as under age goalkeeper all making their debut in the over 65’s competition and were feeling confident in the beautiful sunny day at Heywood.
The first game was against Rochdale Strollers last year’s champions and currently top of the League. Tameside started well with Lake dominating the defence and Hampson and Dave Partington dominating the midfield. Surprisingly Tameside dominated the game creating a few chances but totally against the run of play Rochdale hit a hopeful shot which was going well wide got a wicked deflection and left White in goal with no chance. This goal won the game for Rochdale with Tameside feeling robbed of a point.
Straight onto the next game against Bury Relics and a similar pattern with Tameside dominating and creating several chances, hitting the post on 4 occasions and the Bury keeper having an outstanding game. Heading towards a 0-0 draw when the Bury striker broke free and scored what turned out to be the winner for Bury.
A 20 minute break before Tameside played Blackpool. Another game which Tameside dominated but same story they still couldn’t score. Final result was 0-0, at last a point for Tameside.
Straight on to play Chorley, a team that were very physical and consistantly ran with a referee that rarely penalised them. Not really walking football but Tameside again played well creating a few chances but unable to convert them into goals. The defence handled the Chorley forwards well until in the last minute the Chorley forward scored with a powerful shot on the run. 1-0 to Chorley.
Tameside finished with 1 point from 4 games a disappointing day but it’s fair to say that all the players played well and were extremely unlucky. Disappointing results with no goals scored but the performances were good, and to state the obvious we need a goal scorer but doesn’t every team?


TOUGH GOING FOR STRIDERS…a spectators view as Alan Richards writes…


I was going to attend the final session of this Autumn league next month but after a little confusion with the dates – I thought it was the third Thursday in each month but I’m wrong (again). Anyway the upshot is I can’t be there in December so I went along today to see the Striders in action today November 15th. Just as I arrived  (in bright Autumn sunshine) Bury Relics took the lead in our second game. It stayed at one-nil and then there was a twenty minute pause to gather breath and await the third game of the morning which would see  Striders up against Blackpool Very Senior Seasiders

This gave me a chance to chat to Bill Murney organiser-in-chief on the touchline and recovering well from  a knee replacement. We had an interesting conversation around the future of walking football in general and possible developments that may lie ahead.  Bill also enquired about the progress we’re making in the Fair Play League and I reported all was going well – so far at any rate.

I also had a word with Colin Cuthbert, who is returning to the Nash on Friday’s to play with us once more.  Colin had some issues with my Refereeing at Curzon and there was a disagreement , although we eventually parted on good terms.

Having played at a couple of venues since then,  his return may add to the chances of an Over 70’s team emerging from The Nash in time for next March, and the Northern Counties League at Heywood. (see Colin Fielding for details if you’re interested).

Heywood is  certainly going to be one very busy walking football venue in 2019 with three Thursday league competitions and various knockout cup days occupying swathes of the calendar. I had a reminder today of the highly competitive nature of the Over 65’s league and can confirm my playing days there are over. I’ll savour the memories of playing in some reasonably successful teams, I never managed to score a goal.  Personal high point was a few ‘assists’ – one for the aforementioned Colin Cuthbert who scored against Rochdale (I think)  to give us a narrow win back in Spring ’17.

Anyway, that’s enough of memory lane. The Blackpool game was quite open and we had two or three good chances.  Stewart White saved well on a couple of occasions but I thought we deserved a win here. It didn’t come, and in the last minute a Blackpool breakaway saw a shot go just over. It would have been  a cruel blow if it had gone in. Anyway, this is how I remember the game…video may show it differently of course. <click>

Next up was the team from Chorley. The Refereeing in this one left a lot to be desired if I’m honest.  We were up against a team of runners and responded in kind, but not quite so much. Again we have video  and I’ll upload it soon enough. Chorley won by the odd goal. They were on top for most of the game  and probably deserved it.  I don’t recall too many clear cut chances for Striders, but Dave Partington forced a good save from their goalkeeper.

I had to hurry back home afterwards and missed any post-mortem chat in the dressing room. I hope the mood was not too downcast because it shouldn’t be. We were playing a game approaching football at the age of 65 and , I think came away unscathed. Reason enough to be cheerful, and dwell on the positives. Nice hat Steve :-p

Full results and tables at <this> link

Striders v. Chorley <video>


November update:

Colin Fielding and David Partington have announced their squad for Heywood.  With Stephen Hampson a new inclusion. Maccabi man Hampson has played at King Street several times and is now a signed on ‘Strider’. We’ll be in red and  black stripes once again and should be free of colour clashes.

Steve Hampson

Alan Brodie , a long time regular and already informed  makes way for the new recruit and also  the return of Peter Jarvis – subject to  a late fitness check. Jarvis has played at Heywood several times.

Brodie was messaged with the news of his exclusion from the squad. He may well be back in the future. Management take a calculated decision to go with eight players on merit. It’s likely that other regulars will be  omitted from the squad if we continue along the way of this this meritocracy , as more and more players qualify for the Over 65’s.

The league programme is the same as the last two ventures into GMWF league walking football.  It’s hoped Terry Harrison can bring a few goals to the team – which has been sadly lacking firepower of late. Defensive duties are covered by stalwart Gordon Nixon and ‘underage’ 64 year old Stephen Foster between the posts and Fielding and Partington themselves.  They’ll be hoping a lively Hampson can create a few chances for the front men and maybe take a few for himself. Hampson is a consistent scorer of goals.

It’s clear that the current management duo  are pursuing better results and are determined to find them. With  a tough start against Rochdale Strollers they will need to hit the ground walking. Bury Relics are up next and those guys are no fossils, despite the self-deprecating name.   Living, breathing danger men and a real test.

Blackpool Very Senior Seasider’s  in tangerine and white  are next in line on Pitch 3 and they also represent a stern test.

With  the mornings work culminating in  a game with  a  robust Chorley side waiting on pitch 2, a difficult mornings walking football concludes. If we can score goals we’ll come out on top. If the methods work we’ll all be satisfied.


Good luck to our team – watch this space for news. Here are the fixtures….(I hope to be able to film some of these games.Ed.)



October 18th 2018

Bill Murney’s regular monthly report from Heywood is online now:  <here>

Results and league tables from the organisers  <here>

…and Colin Fielding reports A MIXED MORNING FOR THE OVER 65’s


It was a glorious sunny day at Heywood today for the second month’s games in the Greater Manchester Over 65s League.
Our first game was against the unbeaten League leaders Rochdale Strollers. Games were 15 minutes duration and we started the game playing good passing football.  For the first ten minutes we were equal to Rochdale. However a Rochdale breakaway and a speculative shot took a lucky deflection and resulted in a goal. Strollers  full of confidence now scored two more goals in the last two minutes to show why they are top of the League.
– – – –
We immediately went into the next game against Bury Relics, a strong talented team and  again it was an evenly contested match with both teams creating a number of chances.  No goals were forthcoming until Colin Fielding took up a good position in the opposition half and Steve Foster in goal produced a great pass to Fielding’s feet. He took a few steps and hit a great shot past the Bury keeper. This turned out to be the winning goal 1-0.
Our next game was against Blackpool Senior Seasiders. This was a game that we completely dominated, creating numerous chances but failing to convert them  into goals. 0-0 was the final result.
Last game of the day was against a very good Chorley team. Both teams played good football and both created chances, however Chorley looked more dangerous with Foster pulling off some excellent saves. The inevitable happened with minutes to go when the Chorley striker hit an unstoppable shot which resulted in a 1-0 Chorley win.

Back Row: Partington , Harrison, Foster, Fielding, Bemrose Front Row: Brodie Smith B, Nixon

Photo credit: Karen Bemrose


The squad is announced by co-Manager Colin Fielding and is as follows:

“Striders over 65’s to play at Heywood this Thursday 18th. OCTOBER are :

Joe Bemrose
Alan Brodie
Colin Fielding
Steve Foster
Terry Harrison
Gordon Nixon
Dave Partington
Barry Smith
Meet at Heywood at 10am. “





The October round is drawing ever closer. October 18th is the scheduled day. No squad news as yet but there may be some changes. One change already confirmed is that the Striders will be playing in red and black stripes to avoid almost constant ‘bibbing up’ in their traditional black and white. The organisers have been informed.

  • – – – – – – –

The organisers report from the September session of the 65’s + league gives a comprehensive run down of events across both divisions <read it here>


+ audio commentary….. <click>

STRIDERS v. BURY RELICS 13th.September  GMWF 65’s some video footage <here>

An email from Bill – the organiser-in-chief of Heywood’s GMWF League after todays matches:

With Blackpool’s understandable withdrawal from the rest of today’s fixtures, their remaining games will be scored as 0-0 draws.

We would remind all clubs that –
1. ALL shirts must be numbered, no player will be allowed to play in future without a numbered top.
2. No playing in jeans.
3. Goal keepers must wear a different coloured top to their team colours.
4. Some players are still not aware of the rules, copy attached. Please copy in your players.
5. ALL free kicks are indirect, certainly until we receive the new FA rules, due out anytime.
6. Running is still prevalent on and off the ball, please play the game in the manner it was intended.
Our referees do like to see the play flow but if things don’t improve, more blue cards will be issued and this will penalise your team.
7. Today’s play was more physical than last week’s 60’s league. This is supposed to be a non contact sports and with guys in
their late 60’s and 70’s physicality is a recipe for disaster. If your players cannot control it, our referees will.

Although today’s incident was an accidental collision, the Blackpool player Les Turner was admitted to hospital with concussion.

The last thing we need is any serious accidents for us older guys, so please calm it down. We all wish Les a speedy recovery and
hope to see him in October fit and well.

Finally, it would be a good idea if all teams had emergency contact details for their players and more importantly have them available at every league session.

Sorry if all this seems to be negative but we do have a duty of care to uphold.

Cheers – Bill

Editor’s note:  I decided today that I will play no further part in games of this nature UNLESS the team is really struggling for numbers.. Highly Competitive walking football is beginning to look too much like football and at 67 years of age with two total hip replacements (now nine years ago) I cannot afford to wait while old men begin to ‘calm it down’. There are other reasons. I’m not contributing to the team  in the way I once did just  a year or two ago and I find it more uncomfortable at times to move, and tougher to recover from  a competitive game. I will confine myself to internal sessions in future and hope that the forthcoming ‘fair play league’ offers games of a slightly different nature – ‘slight’ is all it will take. I have respect for Bill AND his league but some others appear to be far too gung-ho. I must add that in the game I played in today I had no problem with my opponents (Rochdale Stroller’s) level of physicality.

This decision does not affect my ability to organise, administer and report on walking football-

Alan Richards



______Colin Fielding reports from Heywood:

Tameside Striders over 65’s started their Autumn League today at Heywood having to make a number of late changes due to holiday and injuries but everyone played well today resulting in three draws and one loss and only conceding one goal all day.

The first game was against last year’s champions Rochdale Strollers. Tameside started well creating chances but found the Rochdale keeper in fine form. Rochdale forwards were now testing the Tamesude defence resulting in Partington saving well but rebounding off the post to a Rochdale player who volleyed it into the net. Tameside striving for the equaliser but to no avail and it finished in a 1-0 win to Rochdale. Tameside were unlucky and probably deserved a draw.

Next game was against Bury Relics and Tameside started well creating several chances but unfortunately couldn’t turn them into goals. This was a game that we should have won if we had converted our chances. Bury didn’t really threaten the Tameside goal.

We were due to play Blackpool Senior seasiders next but unfortunately they had a player injured needing hospital treatment and understandably decided not to play their remaining fixtures.

Our final fixture was against the very physical but effective Chorley FC, previously named Preston NE and last year’s runner up. Chorley were very strong up front having a number of shots against Partington but nothing he couldn’t save.

Tameside brought on Hadge Cooper half way through the game to help strengthen their defence which seemed to work finishing in a 0-0 draw. Tameside had a number of chances but nothing that troubled Chorley’s keeper.

Thanks and well done to all the players, some of who turned up at short notice. Everyone played well and we deserved better results. It’s always going to be difficult to score goals but I’m sure we will get better results over the rest of the competition.


Video links later – watch this space…Ed.





Late inclusions are Hadge Cooper and Mike Caldwell.

Full squad: Partington, Fielding, Brodie, Cooper, Richards, Conroy, Caldwell, Harrison.

Changes necessary after injuries to Peter Jarvis and Joe Bemrose continue to be troublesome – get well soon! Also, regular skipper  Gordon Nixon is unavailable.

– – – – – – –

  • The ‘Trumpet’ clearly has a vacancy for a proof reader…but you’ll get the gist….:-)


Check the Autumn dates for your diary…











Video bombed – by the Seasiders of Blackpool ! <boom>

Colin Fielding’s camerawork and words on Tameside Striders v. Wakefield Wanderers 17/5/18

–  GMWFL Spring season <video>

Striders v. Vintage Relics video <here> (limited audio – our players who want it can email me for the full touchline commentary. Tried to be objective –  alartic@googlemail.com

Terry Harrison – hear him here. See him too…no extra charge ! <click>

Post-match interview Colin Fielding/Gordon Nixon <here>


Pic: Ronny – Rochdale Strollers Goalkeeper

A surprising sight greeted our walking footballers as they arrived at Heywood Sports village this morning. 25% of the car park had been selected by a group of travelling tinkers as their next port of travelling call – given their registration numbers a fair few of them from across the Oirish Sea..
The Police were soon in attendance along with Village officials and Council representatives, to little effect. Small children riding scooters ON THE PITCHES (sacrilege) – a growing pile of rubbish and a cluster of small, yappy dogs completed the scene.

  • – – – – – –
    To the games: Only two of them for the Tameside Striders squad of nine . In the first we encountered a fairly  physical Vintage Relics side. Upper body contact in evidence, to be fair we were not knocked off our Striders, and were stoical in resistance, Gordon Nixon and Colin Fielding in particular standing up to these early challenges more than adequately. The physicality soon petered out and Relics were largely in control and moving the ball more accurately.
  • They were running just a little more often than we were, sometimes penalised, often not. Having taken the lead they never looked like their lead was in danger. We neither huffed, nor puffed in this one really and Relics emerged deserved winners , but only by a single goal – which is often enough at Heywood, where games are more intense and demand more commitment from players to put a shift in.
  • – – – – – – – – – –
    A twenty minute hiatus for contemplation and the odd interview. (See our video channel or links here later: up by Friday night I hope).
  • – – – – – – – – – –
    Next  came Wakefield Wanderers, always welcome opponents who play the game in the right manner. To be fair to them they had little respite after a heavy defeat on another pitche. This game was a delight to play in. Opponents who stand off a little, rather than dive in with elbows and forearms. One or two Striders were upended, but that was often an over balance. I think we responded with fair play in terms of contact, but the runners on our team were found out several times. In fact by the end both Jarvis and Harrison were a jog away from a blue card.
    The Referee Alan Graham did an excellent job of policing pace. Striders were the main offenders in that department today. We must do better.
  • – – – – – – – – – – –
    Wakefield had their first half chances. They hit the frame of the goal twice after breakaways and counter attacks. Cursing their lack of luck. If those shots had gone in we Striders would have been a sorry bunch at half time. It’s fair to say Striders played the better football moving forward but in the first half we again failed to convert a 24 carat chance or two.
    Second half saw Striders continue to move the ball better. Alan Brodie had perhaps his best ever game at right defensive full back.  Constantly vocal and reminding Richards of his defensive obligations whenever he became over adventurous.  Terry Harrison – drafted in by Richards to give us a goal threat – duly obliged in the first minutes of the second half. A really well taken goal. Harrison , after  himself to the intensity we’d faced from Relics, looked more comfortable now. Richards himself was unlucky when a fine shot took a deflection mid flight but was still fingertipped over the bar by an increasingly busy Wakefield ‘keeper.
  • – – – – – – – – –
    The Badgers were in control now. With a solid Keith Burrows in goal inspiring confidence. Jarvis, Conroy and Richards were linking up really well. Brodie always seemingly in the right place today and Harrison up front upended once, and falling over too.
    Wakefield still had their moments but when Jarvis added a second the game looked lost for them. A third came a little later. Mike Conroy this time finding the target. three goals in seven minutes when we had not scored a goal AT ALL  in over a dozen games was a welcome boost for all of us. Even the guys encouraging us from the touchline. Credit Wakefield for they way the reacted. Always heads up and trying to find a reply.
  • – – – – – – – —

    We thanked organisers & Referees and  many of us stayed for the presentation. ‘Lord Fielding’ of Stalybridge predictably won some ‘After Eight’ type chocolate mints in the raffle

    Numbers up!
  • and yours true to type went for the Heineken, when my number was called. Thinking I might save the half dozen small cans for the Miller’s Day it will take a superhuman effort to do so now I’m in celebration mode.
    What’s to celebrate you may ask?
    Well I don’t think we’re bottom of the league anymore. But, if we are it doesn’t matter. Everyone turned up for a start – as they always have (both groups).
    WE played well today , particularly in the second game. In the first we showed character and resolve. The sun shone. There was no unpleasantness whatsoever and it was a good day. Video will emerge over the next day or two. (warning: contains some running)
    For our Over 65’s this was an  encouraging finale to the Spring League.
    Over to the Over 70’s now on May 31st. The entry fee has been paid and you’re all good to go. I have a feeling this may be the age group which can really make a statement for the Striders.
    No pressure Gentlemen – just enjoy yourselves.
  • – – – – – – –
    With Wakefield losing all three games it looks as though Striders may have climbed off the bottow due to goal difference. We shall see. I need anyone from the Striders squad who does NOT want our surplus entry monies from the Spring League to go towards One A4 team blow up for each player AND the rest towards a new kit for The Nash Amblers to contact me by the 23rd. May please
    Today’s teams:
    Game 1: Tameside Striders 0 – Vintage Relics 1 (H-T 0-1) Referee: Mr.A Graham
    Burrows, Nixon, Fielding, , Harrrison, Conroy, Caldwell.
    Game 2: Wakefield Wanderers 0 – Tameside Striders 3 (H-T 0-0) Referee: Mr.A Graham
    Burrows, Brodie, Jarvis (1) , Richards, Conroy (1) , Harrison (1)
  • Winners by a comfortable margin





We know the May round of fixtures will seem short, and maybe even sweet. We will face Vintage Relics at 11-00am on Pitch One followed by  a half hour breal before Wakefield Wanderers are our opponents on the same pitch.  Then……….that’s it. We can stay for a brew and a butty and watch the presentations, or not.  Personally I don’t think it would do any harm to hang around. Keeping nine players involved is a challenge for just two games but the best route to go down is for each one to start at least one of the games.  Injuries permitting – and assuming we get no more strains, pulls, tears or ruptures….the teams will line up like this under Plan ‘A’.




All the results and standings : <here>

Our game v. Rochdale Strollers <stroll along with the Striders> VIDEO

The Touchline Prowler  (film) – A Captain’s passion, A Chairman’s concern….

Thanks to two sets of Striders !   <Touchline Prowler>

Another chilly,  cheerless day at Heywood. Cold winds from the East made their presence felt as we warmed up ahead of four familiar fixtures. Video soon (be afraid)

Blackpool ‘Very Senior Seasiders ‘first on pitch 2 (formerly four). The organisers had altered the pitch numbers for some reason so we had to move base camp about forty yards.
Twenty minutes flew by and we all thought the match official had a Tunisian Cartier on his wrist. The game was a scrappy affair to be honest. Neither team found much rhythm. No goals – remember this team beat us in March so this represented progress. One good Striders move near the end almost brought a breakthrough

As Rochdale Striders awaited us on the adjacent Pitch 3 (formerly four) some of us kept warm in the interim ten minutes or so. We got going quite well against the Striders of Rochdale. Some heavily built men amongst their ranks and though not the most mobile of teams they are resilient. Again we couldn’t penetrate their defences but we had chances to. As did they. I recall they hit the frame of the goal at least once. So did we later in the game. Conroy latching on to  a fine Jarvis pass.  Rochdale  ‘scored’ but the goal was disallowed for a running offence. Video shows it’s blatant.  The Striders passing looked a bit more fluent in this game Conroy, Fielding and Richards linked up well. The latter taking a heavy fall bouncing off a beer belly at one point when a 49-51% ‘collision’ sent him sprawling and desperately feeling if his replaced parts were still in situ! They were (thankfully, Ed.) . Nil- nil. This team beat us in February.

Rochdale Strollers are the best team in this league but we held them for quite some time before they broke through our defences. Mike Caldwell started this one – reporting fit after hamstring trouble – Captain Nixon put in a tremendous shift for his team and we looked to be getting back into it. Substitutes Colin Fielding and Bill Lancashire were sent on at half time to take up forward positions in a bid to find a goal from somewhere by this time the video battery was exhausted. Strollers scored again to double their lead and put paid to any hope of a ‘Badgers’  revival . A good passing team and nice people to boot. Nil- two.


Our final game back on the old pitch three (now two) saw Preston’s ‘lilywhites’ donning  flourescent yellow bibs – with a stripe. Very visible , yours truly has become a bit of a bib connoisseur in recent times and we might just check those out. Richards’ felt a very strange spasm in his calf and withdrew after just two minutes, the third time this has happened – three times at Heywood (might be shin pad fastenings too tight) A rather more physical encounter this one. By now Mike Conroy (caught his foot in the 3g v. Strollers)  had limped back to the changing rooms with a possible recurrence of groin trouble. Gordon Nixon was also seen to clutch his own groin (not Mike’s) but battled on until the bitter end. Colin Fielding went down after a second successive sliding tackle, but hauled himself back to his feet. What  a guy. The PNE player was substituted after a Ref’s  recommendation and removed from the pitch , and later refused a return by the Referee! Strange decisions. A third clean sheet for Burrows who did well in goals with a series of blocks and parries, tipping a couple of shots over the bar in this, and other games. Nil-nil – almost inevitably but Nixon went close to winning it at the end.

Thanks first to Bill Lancashire for turning out at short notice. To ALL the players for giving it their best shot – not too many on target mind. To Badger Burrows for his badging and his stint in goal.  To Gordon Nixon and Colin Fielding in particular, both gave performances of gusto and commitment. To Eve Richards for turning out in the cold to video (I did tell you to ‘layer up’)
To the organisers and our opponents – the vast majority played fair and square and to the two Referees we played under today.

  • – – – – – – –  –
    We return in May for just two games. I’m looking for volunteers to sit the round out – taking nine or ten players is silly when game time will be limited. Anyone who wishes to miss May and has already paid for the full Spring season will be refunded a fiver unless they want to donate it to group funds.<hint> Alternatively we can work it so everyone gets about ten minutes on the pitch. Fifteen seconds for every mile travelled (round trip) in my case.
    There will be some video of these games and a few photographs – all will emerge over the next couple of days so please watch this space. – Thanks…Alan.
  • man down

STATS FOR APRIL. … P4 W0 D3 L1 F0 A2 Pts. 3


Terry Harrison cannot make it. Mike Caldwell is only fit to be a substitute. Meanwhile the fixtures are in and we play FOUR TWENTY MINUTE GAMES with little respite. Worse still, the following month of May we travel to play just TWO games (40 mins. total).  Not ideal but, we’re not complaining. These two sets of fixtures will complete our commitment to the Spring League. Download  the April & May the fixtures at the link below


Bill Lancashire has answered the call and is playing at Heywood tomorrow.
Mike Caldwell has asked to be listed as a substitute due to a hamstring problem and will only be called upon as a last resort.

Teams PLAN A (Subject to change) =

v. Blackpool Very Senior Seasiders :PITCH 2 Burrows , Nixon, Fielding, Conroy, Jarvis, Brodie Subs: Richards, Lancashire and Caldwell

v. Rochdale Striders: PITCH 3 Burrows , Lancashire, Fielding, Conroy, Jarvis, Richards Subs: Brodie, Nixon and Caldwell

v. Rochdale Strollers:PITCH 3 Burrows , Nixon , Lancashire, Conroy, Brodie, Richards Subs: Caldwell, Fielding and Jarvis

v. Preston North End Snr.Whites: PITCH 2 Burrows , Nixon, Fielding, Brodie. Jarvis, Lancashire Subs: Richards, Caldwell (Conroy leaving early)

Referees Pitch 2: Frank Bergin Pitch 3: Alan Graham


Please be at the venue for 10-00am. Photo i.d. and Shin pads essential (no bus passes


The Strides of March !

WATCH: Striders v. Blackpool Very Snr.Seasiders  0- 1. Video <click>

WATCH: Striders v. Rochdale Striders 0- 0  <here>

WATCH: Rochdale Strollers v. Striders 0 -0 <here>

WATCH: Striders v. Preston N.E. Snr. Whites  <click>  (with audio commentary)

WATCH: Vintage Relics v. Wakefield Wanderers (most of the match) <here>

WATCH: Striders v. Vintage Relics (most of the match)  is <online here>

All we were saying, was give us a goal. Travelling support of two on the touchline today almost got a song going but there was not the response from a team that huffed and puffed and threatened and squandered in equal measure.
That said we were an improvement on last month.
The opening game against Blackpool Very Senior Seasiders was our only defeat. They got one chance really, and took it, finding space just outside the ‘D’ due to defensive confusion about who should be where. Too many cooks spoil the broth.
We were awarded a penalty for ingress but Gordon Nixon’s kick was saved by the goalkeeper.

Next we moved on to face the first of the two Rochdale teams. Striders and Strollers, both of whom edged us out of the points last time. This month we were better especially against the stronger Strollers. We persevered and defended well, with real openings that promised but never quite delivered. Caldwell and Brodie up front carved out a couple of chances but goals are so hard to come by. To emerge from these games with two points was marked progress. Strollers won most of their other matches today. We rode our luck at times but a draw was a fair result.
Of 21 games played today FIFTEEN ended in goalless draws! Next months format of three 20 minute games should yield more successful strikes. Just let’s hope we register a few ourselves.
Proud Preston next. A more physical encounter with both teams guilty of more contact than normal. We donned green shirts played well. Going fairly close on two or three occasions. Joe Bemrose had a particularly good game in this one. Linking up with Richards going forward. Fielding and Nixon were solid at the back and Keith Burrows in goal and solid throughout was equal to the few problems Preston posed. It finished in a stalemate again.

Guess who’s got new Astros?

Vintage Relics were not in the same form they found against us last time. Sweeping us aside three goals to nil today they found stiffer resistance and some threat from Striders going forward too. Another nil-niller – and I heard the Relics figured in SIX nil-nil draws today.
We wound up with Wakefield Wanderers on Pitch 1. They had arrived late but soon got up to speed. A good game this, and one we perhaps thought we could have won going into it. Wanderers threatened to score though we had the lions share of play I think it’s just about fair to say. Goalless again of course. Another game – as they all were – played in a good spirit with low level physicality in the non-contact format. Our Preston game was maybe the exception but there was nothing malicious going on.

Thanks to the Referees who all received positive feedback for their performances. To the organisers too. An on time kick off and no wasted time between games. Plus chocolate biscuits !
The weather was no better or worse than we have come to expect. A satisfying day which might not see us climbing off the bottom, but I think we’ll all felt a little better on the journey home. See you in April. Video will appear as and when….

The Organisers official report is here <click>


The Badger’s are back on the road this week with the March fixtures of the Greater Manchester Walking Football league at Heywood Sports Village.
Colin Fielding is back to boost the squad defensively but Barry Smith bows out after reinforcing the team last month. A vote of thanks to Barry for stepping in. We travel with a nine man squad.
Fixtures will follow the same pattern as last time. We’ll kick off against Blackpool Very Senior Seasiders on pitch two with Garry Pearce Refereeing. Last months game brought a nil-nil draw in that cold, hostile wind. Let’s hope this weeks weather is a little more benign.
‘Plan A’ means the line up for the opening game will be Burrows: Nixon:Bemrose Fielding:Conroy:Richards
Assuming there are no injuries all nine members of the squad will feature in at least three games. Richards, Fielding and Nixon will step out of the team for the second game. We go to Heywood as a unit and in line with past practice and group philosophy, everyone will get plenty of time on the pitch. Playing time in total is an hour so look to get half an hour minimum.

Badgers on the road – again

Next up we face two consecutive games on Pitch Three against local opposition. Rochdale Striders and Strollers. Last time out both teams found the goal which is so eluding us at the moment to seal one nil victories. We won’t want to be pointless against these two for a second time so we need to up our game. We weren’t really applying ourselves to the maximum last time so lets hope a change of attitude can bring a change in fortunes. Forward players will need to be willing to track back. Strollers are always difficult opponents and Striders seem to have improved so we will need to sharpen up our act to get anything from these games. With Strollers playing in white last time we will take our green shirts to slip on and avoid the need for bibs. Alan Graham will Referee both of these games.


Preston Senior Whites will await us next back on Pitch 2 so we may well be in green once more. This was quite a keen contest in February but neither team could find a breakthrough. Again ‘Plan A’ has Nixon and Fielding back for this one with Bemrose, Richards and Jarvis making space and providing the ‘out ball’, with a willingness to defend when the need arises.
Over to Pitch One for our final two matches of the round. By now we will know how our morning is shaping up. Vintage Relics punished some defensive frailty last time with Colin Cuthbert rampant, and registering a hat trick for his team. We will have to hope the stable pairing of Nixon and Fielding who will feature as a defensive partnership in at least half of  the games on Thursday , along with Mike Conroy in defensive mode can repel the Relics whilst hoping for some forward success for Peter Jarvis and Mike Caldwell. Referee Mike Willmore will officiate, this one and our last game.

Wakefield Wanderers are our final opponents. With Brodie and Caldwell, hopefully in mobile mood returning to present our best chances of a goal in this one, with Nixon, Bemrose and Richards behind them looking for openings to exploit. Maybe we can go one better than a goalless draw we played out last month.
Keith Burrows our ‘underage’ ‘keeper will obviously start all six games. All the other squad members will play at least three games each. Be prepared to step out of the team, even if we have just won a game or you’ve scored or played particularly well. This is a collective approach and the one under which we entered the competition. We go to Heywood as a unit and as a unit we take our chances. See you Thursday if not before
Plan A: Teams. v. Blackpool VSS Burrows/Nixon/Fielding/Bemrose/Richards/Conroy
v. Rochdale Striders Burrows/Conroy/Bemrose/Jarvis/Brodie/Caldwell
v. Rochdale Strollers Burrows/ Conroy/ Fielding/ Jarvis/Brodie/Cadlwell
v. Preston S.W. Burrows/ Nixon/Fielding/Bemrose/Richards/Jarvis
v. Vintage Relics Burrows/ Nixon/Fielding/Conroy/Jarvis/Caldwell
v.Wakefield Wdrs. Burrows/Nixon/Bemrose/Richards/Brodie/Caldwell

None of this is set in stone, we must obviously remain fluid and adaptable with  a ‘Plan B’ to hand. If you have any views on any of this please make them known during the course of this coming week. If our fortunes do not improve we’ll look at other methods of selection  for the April round, I’ll happily  see others step into the ‘managerial’ role if they feel they can do better with the players we have available. We might even look outside the squad itself for management if we struggle again this time.

We just need two or three goals from somewhere to put a very different complexion on things……so let’s enjoy looking for them.



A bad case of wind !

Spring Lge.  session  February 15th.2018.

A bitingly cold, howling wind was the most noticeable feature at Heywood today. The clouds were scudding by overhead but it stayed dry.
We played six ten minute matches five minutes each way in the interests of fairness due to  wind strength..
The first game versus Blackpool Very Senior Seasiders finished goalless , like several others on the day. We were not very fluent in any of our matches and although we managed to get a few shots on target throughout, we didn’t register any goals.

  • – – – – – –
    Rochdale Striders beat us one-nil. Neither team looked worthy winners to be fair. But Conroy and Smith both had good shots go close. A bit of a mix up at the back between players not used to playing there gave Rochdale their goal.
  • – – – – –
    Their fellow Rochdale men, the Strollers got the upper hand on us also by the one goal. Again Smith and Conroy made their ‘keeper work but we weren’t fully at the races in this one, a lack of focus and quite honestly some lack of effort was our downfall. We missed our defender Colin Fielding today. We had too many attack minded players in the squad and the imbalance was plain to see. If anyone wants to assume the roll of ‘Manager’ next month to maybe better motivate the players feel free to speak up. You do not need to be in the squad, or Over 65.

Nixon re-entered the fray, and Richards got his first game in the next one v. Preston North End Senior Whites. Work rate was enhanced slightly and we made a slightly better fist of it but still couldn’t score. They were awarded a penalty (ingress Gordon Nixon) and duly scored the kick – however there were several steps on the way to striking the ball. Possibly the worst one step penalty I’ve seen.

  • – – – – – – –
    Vintage Relics (apparently a Bury/Stalybridge combo) were next up. This team were well on top to be honest. There was a wind assisted first goal from Cuthbert but in the second half he added two more for an emphatic hat-trick. Given the nature of these leagues he may be half way towards the ‘Golden Boot’ already ! Well done Colin, and due credit to the Relics, the best team we faced on the day.
  • – – – – – – –
    With Wakefield Wanderers our final opposition yours truly bowed out of a third game and started packing up. Another 0 – 0 this one, with little in the way of excitement . Some more good play from Conroy, Bemrose and Jarvis this time but once again we drew a blank.
    Never mind, we shall return and it could have been worse ! The Referee’s were all good – although those assessor reports are not easy to write in strong wind with very cold hands and with just 5 minutes between most games it’s a job I could have done without.
    The Referees were all competent and confident. We saw little in the way of contact but there were runners in every team. With such very short games, to be ever on the whistle would double the frustration of players so common sense was applied. The organisers did the best that can be done with the circumstances, and the numbers but the games were very short indeed and along with the laziest of winds detracted from the overall enjoyment as much as our disappointing results. But…never mind.  Onwards and upwards towards March now – we might be propping up the table as things stand. No photo’s due to operator malfunction.
  • Some video here – tongue in cheek. No doubt some will not get the initial attempt at  humour. As I learn everyday – you can’t please everyone.
  • <gett sett for spring>
  • Next game for the Strider group….Badgers at Burnley






Gears all packed #badgersontheroad



Latest news: There will  be ONE division of seven teams. This is preferable to two of 4 & 3. Each team will play every other in  a ten minute game. Short, I know but we get an hour. There is a very short break between five of our games. We should have a squad of eight this month (Feb) and as we are a pretty fit bunch of Pensioners so  I think we’ll be okay. The fixtures come at us in this  in this order: Blackpool VSS on pitch 2 :Rochdale Striders :Rochdale Strollers on pitch 3

Preston N.E.  Senior Whites 2 (poss.colour clash) :  Vintage Relics pitch 1 (not sure if Bury or Celtic) Five minutes max between all those games then after a fifteen minute break we close with a game on pitch 1 versus Wakefield Wanderers.

Meet at Heywood Sports Village, West Starkie Street, Heywood for 10-00am. Games will kick off at 11-00am. but we need to register, change and warm-up.

Photo I.D. essential. Shin pads COMPULSORY – no exceptions. We need to think how we’re getting up there and  it would make sense to maximise vehicle and seats if we can. Let’s think about it.  Almost everyone has paid their entry fee. Barry Smith has answered an S.O.S. call  this month and will be welcome to stick with the squad if he wants too throughout the Spring  campaign

We play in our now traditional white shirts, black shorts black and white socks. I’ll have a set of new red bibs in case of clashes.  I think only Preston will present that problem and as they are listed as the ‘home’ team in our fixture the onus is on them to change colour. Take refreshment and an energy boost – it’s easy to forget.  We will only substitute in emergencies but the team selections will roll to give everyone more or less equal game time. I have copies of the ‘code of conduct’ and it appears here somewhere too. If you’re new to Heywood please read it. Referees will be strict (rightly so) there is zero tolerance of the unpleasant aspects of this game which can still surface sometimes – even amongst blokes older than 65. Treat the day as a fun trip out – an away day – results matter but are not important . It should be good, let’s hope we enjoy it.



The all NEW Over 65 league kicks off on February 15th. Fixtures announced soon. Major differences this year :- PENALTY AWARDS AGAINST ‘AGGRESSIVE & RECKLESS PLAY’


Shin pads are compulsory. No pads no game. NO BUS PASS I.D.please.





Greater Manchester Walking Football Code of Conduct
Welcome to Greater Manchester Walking Football.
Please can you read through this short document which has been put together to ensure all players understand how we are trying to develop the Greater Manchester Walking Football events moving forward.

Could we ask that this document is shared by the club Managers/Organisers with all current players participating and also given to any new players joining any of our events in the future.
While participating in any of the Greater Manchester Walking Football events everyone follows the Code of Conduct outlined below. The following Code of Conduct is designed to support the current rules and enhance the present game, promoting its further devolvement.
Any person participating in any of the Greater Manchester Walking Football events agrees to abide by the Code of Conduct set out below.
Code of Conduct
Team Managers/Organisers:
 Check that all the players registered to take part are in the agreed age category on the day of the matches.  Ensure current and new players have had an opportunity to read the Code of Conduct.  Communicate to all players and supporters that any articles/photos or information shared on social media in relation to any Greater Manchester Walking Football events should be designed to help to promote its development in the future in a positive way.
Players at all times should:
 Abide by the Laws of the Game understanding that the Referees decision is final.  Not run or jog on or off the ball, including the goalkeeper.  Ensure they play Non-Contact walking football.  Promote and endorse Fair Play.  Respect themselves, fellow competitors and officials.  Abide by and accept in good grace the decisions of the officials.  Never engage in gamesmanship, bullying, intimidatory or unsporting behaviour.  Never engage in offensive, insulting, abusive or disrespectful language towards any other person or persons.

Thank you for being part of the Greater Manchester Walking Football programme of events, we look forward to seeing you soon.


NEXT: the fixtures…coming soon