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“Alex Ferguson is the best manager I’ve had at this level – well, he’s the only manager I’ve had at this level” – David Beckham
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A meet the players slot with a difference. Recently I passed on the walkingfootball.com organiser Ian’s questions to Bernard Roddy, our most senior player now aged 82….
Thanks to Ian for the questions – you can find more interviews with a host of walking football players, organisers on his website <here>
For more of ours just scroll down the page.
Bernard Roddy. 82.Denton – Tameside Striders – 6 months
2.Why did you get involved with Walking Football.
I saw snatches of it on television and kept saying “I wonder if I could do that?” and finally my wife tracked down the nearest place it was played and more or less sent me!
4. How many times a week do you take part
Once a week.
3.What do you do in training sessions that you think are important to avoid injury?
Warm-ups before the game. I have never warmed up in my life before, but I appreciate them now!
5.Have you played competitive Walking Football?
I have not played in any league or tournament, but the games we play are competitive enough for me.
6. Has your diet changed since you started Walking Football?
Not really; I make sure I have a good breakfast (including a banana) – and I take a bottle of water and drink it at half-time; something else I have never done before!
7. Do you feel fitter and healthier since playing?
I can’t say I feel fitter but when I walk, I walk with more purpose – and take a few strides now and again!
8. Have you had any injuries since playing?
Only a few minor aches and slightly pulled muscles but nothing to stop me playing; I do try not to stretch for the ball as much as when I first started!
9. Do you always have a first aid trained person when playing?
10. Has your social life changed since playing?
Only in the sense that for about the two hours a week I find I am happy sharing the enjoyment of football with so many friendly people;
I have also discovered links with other friends who know people that I know. I also have a lot more to tell my friends – and my wife!
11. Best and worst memories?
My best moment is of the silence that went over both teams when I fell to the ground and then, when they realised I wasn’t really hurt a voice called clearly: “Were you playing for a penalty?” And then I was pulled to my feet!
Worst moment: I was only yards from an open goal and received a perfect pass – only to look at the goal and not the ball – and ‘kicked’ it with my shin. And we needed that goal!
12. How else has Walking Football affected your life?
I look forward to Tuesday morning and am so happy to be playing again and grateful to all the “lads” who have just accepted me into the set up.
13. What do you like most about Walking Football?
Apart from the football itself, it is the concern shown for each other by everyone who plays.
14. What do you like least about Walking Football?
I can’t think of anything; I even like taking my turn in goal. It gives me a rest and a chance to watch others recalling their glory days!
15. What are you goals for the future?
Just to be able to keep playing and enjoying the football – and it would be good to score a goal!
16. Anything else? Try walking football – you will get a warm welcome and you be looked after. It is great when you realise you can still kick a ball. But remember: “Play to feet,” the others are not as fast as you. (used to be!)
Meet Colin Fielding
Colin Fielding was born as the Second World War ended, in Hadfield, Derbyshire. Quite a rural upbringing back then, I would imagine. He’s married to Adele, and they have four children, six Grandchildren with another one ‘on the way’, and they are Great-Grandparents too!
Colin was formerly a Director of Human Resources – (that’s Personnel in old money) and has also held positions on the boards of several local non-league football clubs, such as Hyde United and Tameside Radio.
His hobbies include walking and he’s ambled the length of Hadrian’s Wall not once, but twice! Also a keen gardener who likes his holidays and his football. He has a season ticket at Old Trafford. His top holiday was a visit to Disneyland in Florida. When he settles down to watch the TV ‘Game of Thrones grabs his attention the most and ‘Breaking Bad’ heads his list of ‘boxed sets’ he has enjoyed. (Me too Colin – must watch it again soon).
‘Pulp Fiction’ the Tarantino classic is Colin’s favourite film, and he’s a music lover too. With a whole list of favourite albums from Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’ to the Rolling Stones ‘Some Girls’ and topically ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ from the Beatles – released fifty years ago in June 1967. Bob Dylan, Simply Red and Supertramp are also big favourites.
Colin has had a varied life. Worked in film advertising, casting people into roles that brought him into contact with Sir Alex Ferguson and Cristiano Ronaldo, amongst others. He is a potential ‘Egghead’ challenger and important member of The Nash Amblers and Tameside Striders playing set up. You may not know, but Col’s actually played at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City before 70,000 fans on one of several long distance football tours with Manchester F.C. He’s played football all over the place….
When asked ‘Why walking football” his reply came back loud and clear “great to be involved competitively forty years after I stopped playing. Also enjoying the company of a great bunch of guys every week improves my fitness whilst having a lot of fun. I definitely recommend it “And so say all of us – thanks Colin.
If you want to feature in ‘Meet the Players’ email me at firstname.lastname@example.org thanks (Ed.)
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He trained in the printing industry and was a compositor/typesetter.
At school the young Conroy enjoyed woodwork, and P.E. His hobbies now are listed as ‘Cooking, DIY, Keep Fit and of course Walking Football’. He said the ‘thought of kicking a ball about, sedately, with a group of elderly Gentlemen appealed’ but he’s since realised “there’s nothing ‘sedate’ about it” but he enjoys “rolling back the years with a smashing bunch of guys”
Mike is a Manchester United supporter, and says Curzon Ashton F.C. now hold a special place in his affections, seeking out their results regularly. He played for his school teams and also came under the wing of Tameside Strider David Wilson in his younger days. David managed one of Mike’s teams.
His holiday of choice would be in Italy – he ‘loves the country’ and if he had the chance he’d like to drive one of these on its many beautiful roads.
Back in the UK the A55 might not compare favourably but he might steer that Maserati towards Anglesey, when he & Linda take a UK break. Mike enjoys Mediterranean food and is partial to ‘an Indian’ now and again, like so many of us walking footballers. Yours truly excepted.
Mr.Conroy enjoys ‘factual programmes’ on the T.V. and when it comes to classic films ‘Ice Cold in Alex’ (what a great choice) is probably his favourite – one of mine too.
Last August Mike was sat ‘nursing a pint and not really enjoying it’ thus decided to have a ‘dry month’ he has jettisoned Beer totally ever since. Although he will still enjoy a bottle of Amarone Italian red wine.
When asked for a detail we may not know about himself he refers to his newfound temperance and says ‘he’s a cheap round in the pub nowadays’.
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Meet Rob Lake.
Born in the lovely old city of Exeter, Devon in 1953 in his youth he played football for Exmouth Amateurs and Lympstone.
When his work as a Customs Officer took him to London he turned out for the ‘Customs Heathrow’ eleven. Rob definitely has something to declare about his football allegiance. ‘Chelsea’!No surprise to those of us who know him , he takes this opportunity to remind us ‘the blues’ are indeed The Champions –
I think for the sixth time in their history. I’ll hazard a guess they all came within Rob’s lifetime.
When quizzed about his ‘other’ club he admits a fondness for Newcastle United. Rob is married to Janice (who is a Geordie) and they have a daughter, Hayley.
He cites walking football amongst his hobbies, and says he found out about it ‘by chance’ loving it from the start. Other interests include Rock and pop music.
The Beatles, and Muse, are among his favourites. Reading historical fiction is another pursuit of Rob’s. I may be wrong but I’m thinking maybe Bernard Cornwall might be up his street.
When he takes a holiday Rob and Janice will often head for a mobile home near Frejus in the South of France, or closer to home those wild (and cooler) stretches of Northumberland and its beaches beckon him the most.
When it comes to TV and film, Rob is a fan of ‘Prison Break’ , ‘Endeavour’ and ‘The Last Kingdom’ .
On the silver screen ‘Chariots of Fire’ made a big impression.
Confessing a likeness for Indian food, when it comes to a tipple Real Ale and Red wine tickle his fancy. Rob’s not really into fancy Cars and he doesn’t lust after any particular model.
When asked to tell us something we might not know about himself he reveals he is a ‘committed Christian’. No surprise there from a thoroughly decent man who we are always pleased to see at our sessions. His elegance & capabilities on the ball are well known and I’m reliably informed he also added some steel to our game, when it was needed quite recently.
That’s Rob Lake. We now know him a little better. Cheers Rob.
(if you wish to feature on this page, and a new style of player profile please send an email to: email@example.com)
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Meet Stewart White:
Year of Birth : 1955
Family: Married to Val, Sons Jonathan and Robert (both married) and Grandson Elias
Work you do/did Retired Surveyor
Hobbies: Walking Football, Cycling, Gardening, Theatre and walking our spaniels Tanzy and Roxy
Football allegiance Season Ticket holder at Manchester City and a ‘soft spot’ for Curzon Ashton
Football history: Played open-age football from age 16 for Excise FC in the Lancashire & Cheshire F.A. Subsequently played for Civil Service teams including NW Regional Team.
Favourite holiday: Sorrento / Tuscany (anywhere in Italy really!)
Favourite UK holiday area: Devon / Cornwall
Favourite food : Lasagne / Moussaka
Favourite TV programme : Dad’s Army, Only Fools and Horses and of course Match of the Day
Dream car: Bentley
Favourite Band/Singer: Roy Orbison / Eva Cassidy
Tipple of choice: Cider or a good Cognac
- Name: Garry Pearce
Year of Birth : 1952
Birthplace: Knowsley Village (now in Merseyside)
- Family: Married to Lisa, two children both well grown up!
- Work you do/did?: Sales Manager, corrugated case business in Cheadle.
Hobbies: Theatre, reading and of course football. Chairman Stalybridge Celtic Juniors, 23 years with the Junior Club.
Football allegiance? : Liverpool F.C. (Started going when they were in the second division). Season ticket at Stalybridge Celtic for many years now.
Football history ?: Not much, lots of five-a-side, never played at a great level. Went for quantity rather than quality!
Why ‘Walking Football’ ?: Love coaching the Juniors but it’s not the same as playing! Enjoy the craic!
Favourite holiday ?:Best place I’ve been to is Las Vegas and loved the west coast of America as well
Favourite UK holiday area ?: Lake District
Favourite food ? : Cheese (with a glass of red wine!)
Favourite TV prog ? : Premier League football. Best sit com for me is ‘Early Doors’, quality.
Favourite film ? : Waterworld , a Kevin Costner classic!
Dream car ?: Morgan
Favourite Band/Singer ?: Bought my first Elton John album in 1970, so guess it has to be him.
Last CD I bought ?: Bruce Hornsby, ‘Rehab Reunion’, and also the Strumbellas ‘Hope’ both in July ’16
Tipple of choice: Good Cognac, or single malt if pushed!
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Born: – 1945
Birthplace: – Manchester
Family: – 2 daughters, 3 grandchildren
Work: – Retired design engineer
Hobbies: – WF, table tennis, cycling, gardening
Football allegiance : – Manchester United
Football history: – School
Why Walking Football ?: Fantastic outlet to be active, most enjoyable, great bunch of players.- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
- Name: Gordon Nixon
Born: 7/6/1950 in Bradford, Manchester.
Children: Victoria & Lee
Work you did: Retired Prison Officer
Football allegiance:Manchester City first match V Burnley 1959
Why Walking Football?: Meet new mates, keep fit.
Favourite holiday destination: Malta
Favourite soap: I only use Shower Gel
A film favourite: The Alamo
Boxed set: Only Fools And Horses
Musical preferences: Very wide range Pop to opera
Favourite cd: Joe Longthorne
Dream Car: Any you don’t have to put fuel in
Tipple of choice :Cider
E.U. Referendum IN/OUT : “I think we have been in the E.U. too long to come out now”
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‘Hadge’ Henry Cooper
Family: Wife, two children.
Work you did: Supervisor
Football allegiance: Manchester City
Why do you play Walking football?: Great set of lads. Fun.
Better than the real thing!
Favourite Holiday destination: Turkey
Favourite food: Curry
Favourite Soap: Emmerdale
Favourite film: Blues Brothers
Boxed set of choice? : Game of Thrones
Dream Car: A Bentley
Favourite Band: Beatles, Rolling Stones, Police
Fave cd : Any of the aboves plus Tamla Motown.
Tipple of choice: Bitter
EU Referendum In or Out : OUT
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Name: Eric Leach
Year of Birth : 1961
Birthplace: Oldham, Lancashire (as it was then)
Family: Wife Anita and two daughters 16 & 18
Work you do/did: Self employed PAT Test engineer
Hobbies: Playing guitar and singing (when I get the chance)
Football allegiance: None
Why ‘Walking Football’?: It’s great being back kicking a ball again
Favourite holiday destination: Gulf Coast of Florida
Favourite food : Anything that lives in the sea
Favourite soap (opera): Not a big TV watcher
Favourite film: My Cousin Vinny with Joe Pesci
Boxed set?: The Blackadder Series
Dream car: Not really a car person but a Range Rover Evoque would be nice
Favourite Band or singer: Too many to mention, I’ve got many influences but 80’s band, Squeeze have always been perennial favourites
Last cd you bought: Crowded House The Best Of
Tipple of choice: White wine or a good single malt
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Name: Terry Bertenshaw
Year of Birth : 1960
Family: Wife Samantha, 23 Year Old Son Lewis
Work you do/did: Self Employed Upholsterer since leaving school
Football allegiance: Man Utd
Why ‘Walking Football’: Missed playing for years,fantastic to kick a ball again with a great bunch of lads
Favourite holiday destination: Greek Island of Santorini
Favourite food : Chinese
Favourite soap: Don’t watch soaps
Favourite film: Ghost
Boxed set?: Carry on films
Dream car: Jaguar
Favourite Band: Electric Light Orchestra
Tipple of choice: Disaronno
E.U.Referendum in or out: OUT
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Name: Keith “Pele” Oldham
Born 1952 in Ashton-under-Lyne
Family: I’m down to two distant cousins – distant in the sense that they live in Warwickshire and Norfolk.
Work: Civil Service jobs – Manchester Employment Tribunals latterly until July 2014.
Hobbies: Visiting pubs, table tennis, snooker, darts, watching football.
Football allegiance: Hyde United and anyone who’s playing Manchester United.
I started playing walking football because I wanted to see if I could recreate the glory days of 40 odd years ago playing in a scratch team of friends and school colleagues against other scratch teams on council pitches we probably shouldn’t have been playing on.
Favourite Holiday Destination: Torquay.
Favourite Food: I’ve no particular preference,
Favourite Soap: I prefer comedy and factual programmes.
Favourite Film: I’m not a big film watcher but I’ll say Life of Brian to give you an idea.
Boxed Set: I think the only boxed set I have is Charlie Drake in “The Worker”.
Dream Car: I notice cars only if I’m given a lift in one or if one’s holding up the bus I’m on.
Favourite Band/Album: My musical preference is for Folk Music plus some 80s Indie and other stuff that’s nowhere near the charts – not that I’ve seen a chart for about 20 years.
Tipple of Choice: Beer.
EU Referendum In or Out?: Good question
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Name: Peter Roberts
Year of Birth : 1946
Family: Family : Wife Eileen, Daughter Katherine & Son Stephen in their 40’s now. Two Granddaughters
Emogen & Lucy , one Grandson Liam.
Work you do/did: Cathodic Protection on High Pressure Gas Network
Hobbies: Playing in Brass Band ,Gardening , Touring in Motorhome
Football allegiance:Manchester City
Football History :-
Signed Youth Forms for Blackburn Rovers
Final trial for Manchester County Youth at “The Cliff”
Lancashire & Cheshire Amateur League
Hyde , Gorton & Ashton Sunday Leagues
Why ‘Walking Football’: I never thought I’d play football again in my lifetime.
Favourite holiday destination: British Motorhome Holiday Parks
Favourite food : Chicken Curry with chips and sprouts.
Favourite soap (tv/radio): Emmerdale , Eastenders
Favourite film Dr Zhivago
Boxed set Planet of the Apes
Favourite Singer or Band Showaddywaddy
Favourite Album: Brass Bands
Tipple of choice: Guinness
E.U.Referendum in or out: Gut Feeling OUT Investing IN
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Year of Birth 21.1.1963:
Family: Partner Elaine, Stepdaughter Charlotte
Work you do/did Hollands Pies – 22 years took early retirement
Hobbies: Music – Waking Football, Travel, Running
Football allegiance – Manchester United
Football history: Played with friends as a child/played with works team
Why ‘Walking Football’: – I loved playing as a child, I didn’t think I would get the chance to kick a ball around again, I enjoy the camaraderie.
Favourite holiday:New York
Favourite UK holiday area : Lake District
Favourite food : Mixed Grill
Favourite TV soap :Coronation Street
Dream car: Audi Convertible
Tipple of choice: Bulmers Cider
E.U.Referendum in or out:Out
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Year of Birth : 1949
Birthplace: Denton, Manchester.
Family: Wife, Angela. Son David, Daughter Leanne.
Work you do/did: Engineering background and later Employment Officer with Tameside Social Services
Hobbies: Football, Painting, Music.
Football allegiance: Manchester United
Football history: Amateur level, Stockport League, Pub and Works team at a good level. Management experience.
Why ‘Walking Football’: Why l like W/F is that l made lots of new friends. I have played at a good level and now I am really enjoying it it’s all about fun and knowing everyone feels the same. With my condition there are people that really care about you if something happens, there’s lots of support and the game helps me to keep fit.
Favourite holiday destination: Wales
Favourite food : Steak and chips
Favourite soap: Emmerdale
Dream car: BMW
Favourite Band: Status Quo
Tipple of choice: John Smith’s Bitter.
E.U.Referendum in or out: Out
Thanks to David, who has been out injured lately and had a stay in hospital too. We hope you’re back playing soon.
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Name : David Partington
Year of Birth : 1945
Family: Wife Elaine, Children Richard & Stephanie : 4 Granchildren
A paragraph on the work you do/ did: I was a Shell Road Tanker Driver for many years. Elaine and I also owned a Grocery/Off-licence too. Both now retired.
Football allegiance: Manchester United
Footballing history: level/teams etc. Good amateur teams Saturday & Sunday. I was with Blackpool F.C. in the early days
A sentence or two on why you enjoy walking football: Keeps me fit and keeps my mind sharp.
Hobbies: Walking Football, Golf and we love our well deserved holidays.
Favourite holiday: Cruises. Also Lake Garda, and Lake Como
Favourite UK holiday destination: St.Annes, Scarborough & Bournemouth
Dream car any era: I owned a Daytona yellow Ford Capri – and a Ford Corsair.
Favourite food: Braised steak with Onion gravy. I also like Indian Food.
Favourite Soap (opera not Carbolic): None !
Least favourite food: McDonald’s. Took the ‘Grandkids’ once – never again. It’s crap !
Favourite movie: Pretty Woman, The Quiet Man
Last c.d. you bought: I don’t have any
Favourite band – ever: The Hollies
Tipple of choice: Non-drinker : Never liked the taste of alcohol
As it’s imminent: The E.U.Referendum: in or out: No answer.
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Name: Alan Richards
Year of Birth : 1951
Birthplace: Northern edge of Wythenshawe
Family : Wife Susan, Daughter Gina & Son Paul in their 40’s now. One Granddaughter, Eve.
A paragraph on the work you do/ did? : Varied.From Office Manager & Cinema Projectionist (brief) to Long Distance
Lorry Driver – I always thought driving was better than working – now retired one full year. After 13 years they made me redundant a month before I was going to quit a year early anyway. Result!! I like retirement – 48 years was enough.
Football allegiance: City since 1960. Season ticket for last six years – wavering a bit. Fancy some non-league.
I lived and breathed football as a kid.
Footballing history: Nothing spectacular (no surprises there!!) School,Sunday & Saturday league Manchester YMCA from ‘D’ team to Second XI. Work got in the way.
A sentence or two on why you enjoy walking football: Good bunch of blokes. Exercise, great to stroke a ball about and score the odd goal – it’s quite rejuvenating to be honest. Love it.
Hobbies: Walking Football, Internet, Photography, Film & film-making, Politics, Cycling sometimes.
Favourite holiday: U.S.A. 4,000 mile road trip in a Mustang convertible.
Favourite UK holiday destination: The area around Mallaig, Scotland.
Dream car any era: Jaguar ‘S’ Type Nineteen sixties version – like Morse.
Favourite food: Steak and Chips
Favourite Soap (opera not Carbolic): The Archers – no others!
Boxed set?: Vikings / Sons of Anarchy /Boardwalk Empire
Least favourite food: Curry
Two Favourite movies: Shawshank Redemption & ’71’ (Northern Ireland troubles movie)
Last c.d. you bought: Jeff Lynne ELO ‘Alone in the Universe’
Favourite band – ever: Beatles
Tipple of choice: Red wine (five or six quid) and Real Ale.
As it’s imminent: The E.U.Referendum: in or out ?: Passionate (and active) for OUT.
Cheers – thanks very much.
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