Walking football is fast becoming more popular by the week and for not only those who have played at a decent level in years gone by, even several of the ex- professional footballers have taken up the challenge of this relatively new found sport writes Merv Colenutt.

One of those ex-players is also a very close friend of mine, Paul Randall the former Bristol Rovers and Stoke City legend who is playing on a regular basis every week and enjoying every minute of it.

Paul said: “It was a strange scenario to start with, having played pro football for a number of years and Tim Richins over at Cheddar, kept onto me about to come over and play at Cheddar and he kept telling me how many former players were enjoying playing the game, albeit walking instead of running and having picked up a few injuries over the years, my feelings were, I might be getting older, but kicking a ball again and hopefully scoring a few goals appealed to me.

“Eventually after Tim’s persuasion and me thinking about it more each day, I thought I would give it a go over at Cheddar and following a few friendly games, we played in a cup competition against Weston and of course this was a more competitive side of the game which was around 2 or 3 years ago.

“I was then given the opportunity to play with the South West team and with all due respects to Cheddar and Tim Richens, I was then given the opportunity to play with the better players and it was more competitive and I was enjoying all the involvement once again.

“I was then asked to play for the over 60s in the West League and then in the Gloucester League, but despite all the competitiveness, in many ways it’s all about meeting up with new friends and the general crack you are getting in the changing rooms once more and of course the banter, but I still enjoy the competitiveness if I am being honest and each game is all done properly with officials, so it’s great to be involved once again.”