GMWFL 65’s League

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 –

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