Walking Football for Paul Randall now he has just become an official pensioner at the age of 66 has become a bit of a godsend writes Merv Colenutt.

The former Bristol Rovers striker who scored over 100 league goals for the club said “it’s great to be involved once again, 66 years old and enjoying every moment, how many of us would have thought back in the day, we would be playing football once again, albeit walking football”.

“Believe it or not however, there are not that many ex pros playing the game, the only ones I have come across are Alan Kennedy, ex Liverpool midfielder, we came across each other when he was playing for the England 60s team, Nigel Jemson and Peter Davenport who were both Nottingham Forest strikers, who I played against once more in the Nationals last year”.

A lot of the people playing are those who have played at a good level, but also those who are coming back from mental health issues, who wanted to get back into football and it was the best get out for so many of them”.

“There are now so many leagues across the country and standards as well as friendlies are improving by the week, but in many ways I feel fortunate enough I can play at a good level, including playing for Weston Super Mare when we won the Nationals last year, we have also won the Somerset and Gloucestershire leagues for the last two years as well”.

“Only a couple of weeks ago I was playing for Somerset over 65s at Bishops Cleeve  and although we lost in the final to Oxford 2-1, it was a reverse of the same final the previous year”.

“To be honest, to be involved again in the game of football, is something I never expected, to meet new friends on and off a football pitch and to meet up with those who have been through tough times is an experience in itself, but on top of all that, playing the game  I loved as a pro player all those years ago, it does bring back memories for so many and they can talk about the present now and not just the past”.

If anyone is interested in getting involved in walking football, they can contact ;Aaron Clements, Football Development Officer, Somersetfa.com or by ringing 01458 832359