LEAGUE NEWS LETTER
FESTIVE TRIAL GAMES
On Saturday we at Birmingham decided to try something a little different with a festive walking football match.
We had two MIXED teams of male and female players playing against each other including two husband and wife players and a father and son. There were three 20 minute matches, the first was a mixed 8 a side walking football (multi touch) game, the second was an 8 a side 3 touch and the last was a 7 a side multi touch consisting of 3 men and 3 women outfield players on the pitch at any given time.
The final score was a 3-3 draw. The games were played in excellent spirit and gave us all an insight as to how we can diversify this great game. Due to its success Birmingham hope to play other clubs in this format in the new year, watch this space!
BEECHCROFT FEATURES IN FA PROMO
We are loving this new walking football promo – great to see our players and club getting exposure ⚽😍
BRAIN TUMOUR FUNDRAISER
Wow what an amazing turn out of support for Jill Woods Brain Tumour research fundraiser at the weekend. We had no less than SIX teams of 7 a side all playing each other in a round robin tournament. Refereed by Woody and Brendon the teams all played in excellent spirit and the day was topped off by a very generously donated auction and raffle. With the just giving page and donations taken on the day the total raised is £2503 !!!! Thank you to ALL who took part, spectated, donated and gave up their time to support our dear friends.
Neil will be operating at Solihull Football Centre every Monday and you can book in to see Neil by calling 0800 433 4363. As an introductory offer, Birmingham WFC players will be eligible for a 25% discount on your initial consultation.
As previously stated, from my own experiences I can’t recommend Neil highly enough.
The Burton Physio Group
At Burton Physio Group, we provide a professional and proactive hands on service for all of our patients. As chartered physiotherapists we specialise in the treatment and diagnosis of musculoskeletal conditions to the general and sporting population. We are highly trained with a wealth of experience and all our staff are fully qualified and HCPC registered or equivalent we place great emphasis on proactive treatments and rehabilitation. We are proud of our reputation in spinal pain therapy however we treat the main areas of common injuries (back, neck and all muscle and joints). We are confident we can give you a helping hand to get your life back with effective hands on approach.
To visit the web site … BURTON PHYSIO GROUP
Neil Sullivan is the Clinical Director at Burton Physiotherapy and Spinal Centre. He is a Chartered Physiotherapist and Graduate Sports Therapist with a wealth of experience working in the Professional sporting arena, and holds a Masters Degree in Advancing Practice from the University of Birmingham. Neil spent more than 16 years in professional football as the Head Physiotherapist for Oxford United FC, Peterborough United FC and for 8 years at Derby County FC. Neil also has Premiership Rugby experience, providing Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation consultancy to Worcester Warriors Rugby Club. Neil has a special interest in Spinal and Pelvic conditions and an extensive knowledge of Musculo-skeletal and Sports Injuries.
READ THE WFA NEWSLETTER
ENGLANDS FULL HOUSE IN GUERNSEY
Last weekend saw The Walking Football Association fly 5 England teams over to Guernsey to play in what would be for some their first International game. The Guernsey hosts treated the teams to a wonderful weekend of football and hospitality and made the matches accessible to the world by filming a live stream of the games. Scores were as follows –
ENG MENS +65’s V GUERNSEY +60’s 4-1ENG MENS +50’s V GUERNSEY MENS UNDER 50’s 4-1ENG LADIES +40’s V GUERNSEY MENS 1-0ENG LADIES +50’s V GUERNSEY LADIES 2-0ENG LADIES +60’s V GUERNSEY LADIES 2-1
After the games the management teams from both sides played in an exhibition match where England took the win again topping off the visit with 2-0 score line.
The weekend was topped off by a celebratory party where money was raised after a signed England shirt was auctioned with the proceeds going to Bowel Cancer.
If you missed the action and want to watch please follow this link to On Screen Creations
REHAB Program/injury management
We are all aware that one of the biggest hinderances surrounding the participation of Walking Football is the ever present worry and recurring issue of injuries. We, as a club, have been very conscious of this for some time and have been looking at ways in which we can support our players should they pick up injuries during participation. Therefore, we have tried to form a type of pathway back following injury which would be supported by specialists in assisting players back into activity. As a result we have teamed up with Burton Physio Group who will be delivering an on site clinic at Solihull Football Centre on Mondays in the coming weeks, I will send out details of this service over the next few days.
In support of this we have organised a rehab session, that will also take place at Solihull Football Centre, on Monday mornings starting this Monday 26th at 09:30. This session is aimed at players that have sustained an injury and are not quite ready for full participation in regular sessions. Sessions will consist of stretches, movement and light ball work, it is NOT a fitness session. The class will also be FREE OF CHARGE for an initial period depending on numbers and popularity etc. There is limited availability and therefore we would like you to book on in the normal way https://bookwhen.com/mpsports.
The support coaches running these groups will also be available for private ‘1-2-1’ sessions should you wish to ‘tackle’ your injury in a more pro-active way and there is a separate pricing structure for this service.
Put in simple terms, should you feel you need a physio after sustaining injury, we will have one on site in Solihull on Mondays. If you wish to progress to ‘testing out’ the injury we have the FREE rehab session and if you wish to further that with specific personal advice then that can be arranged directly with our specialised coaches.
The Physio group and the coaches we will be recommending to you are experts in their fields and I have personal experience of how good they all are.
Parkinsons Specific Walking Football
Our other initiative is to piggy back the work already started by the Walking Football Association in trying to promote activity to Parkinsons sufferers by increasing activity and social wellbeing. We have teamed up with the Brakes Community Foundation in delivering these sessions also FREE OF CHARGE and I hope that although this may not apply to most of you, if you know of anyone that may benefit please forward on the attached flyer. Also we are looking for volunteers to help support the group by coming for a kick about and making the experience all the more enjoyable. If you are able to make it please let me know. (Next Monday 26th 10:30 at Solihull Football Centre).
SOLIHULLS INAUGURAL LADIES TOURNAMENT
WORKING WITH AGE UK /FA
SAT 4TH DECEMBER 👌🎄
BIRMINGHAM WALKING FOOTBALL LEAGUE NEWS LETTER
BWFC +58s v Coleshill WF +58s
On a pleasant autumn Sunday lunchtime, the over 58s hosted Coleshill in their only pre-season friendly. The referee had been asked to treat the match as a league fixture and explained the new ‘professional foul’ rule (more of that later!) to the 2 teams before kick-off.
The visitors started very quickly using a very high press that saw the Birmingham players struggle to get the ball out of their own half. Coleshill were unable to take advantage though, with Roger and Martin, ably supported by stand-in keeper Bart, keeping chances to a minimum allowing the team to play its way back into the game. Several dangerous attacks by both teams were dealt with by the defences or the referee’s whistle and half-time saw the score still at 0-0.
Birmingham seemed much sharper after the break and it wasn’t long before Mark Evans put the home side 1 up with a deflected shot. Coleshill responded well and a few minutes later got their reward when Peter was adjudged to have bumped a Coleshill player in the act of shooting. A ‘professional foul’ which saw Peter blue carded for 3 minutes and a penalty given which was converted for the Coleshill equaliser. The game ebbed and flowed, both sides playing with passion, before we were awarded a penalty for a ‘professional foul’ after a push in the back. Mark Evans hit the back of the net with the spot kick and it was 2-1. Birmingham were then able to see the game out without any major scares for a confidence booster ahead of next weekend’s opening league fixture.
Team: Bart O’Shea; Martin Barber, Roger Purchase, Peter Giddings, Mark Evans, Roy Williams, John Sparkes, Dave Whatmore, Clive Macey. Manager: Steve White
BWFC OVER 63’S IN COLESHILL TOWN TOURNAMENT
Date:14 th October 2020
Venue: Coleshill Town FC
Game duration: 20 mins.
First game for Birmingham was against Shard End.
Birmingham had most of the possession, Roy Williams and Decka linking up nicely on the left-hand side of the pitch created most of the chances, but Birmingham failed to put the ball in the net.
Final Score 0-0
Second game for Birmingham was against Bedworth.
This proved to be a much more entertaining game.
Both teams moved the ball around efficiently and both goal keepers were kept busy. Birmingham scored first with goal from Decka.
Bart O’Shea in the Birmingham goal made two excellent saves, but Bedworth eventually scored with a powerful shot. The game ended in a 1-1 draw, which was a fair result as both teams put in a good performance.
Birmingham’s third game of the tournament against Hartshill turned out to be a bitter disappointment. Again, Birmingham had most of possession and created some good goal scoring opportunities.
Dave Whatmore managed to put the ball in the net early on, but the referee disallowed the goal and awarded Hartshill a free kick for running.
Peter Giddings fine shot hit the bar and Mark Evans low drive hit the post and rebounded back into the hands of the keeper.
The busy Hartshill keeper then managed to keep out Paul Feeney’s low powerful shot.
Most of the Hartshill attacks were blocked by the dependable trio of defenders Martin Barber, Roger Purchase and Peter Giddings.
Hartshill only managed one shot on target which bounced awkwardly in front of Bart O’Shea hitting him on the chest and ending up at the feet of the Hartshill striker lurking on the edge of the area, who calmly stroked the ball into the net. These things happen! final score 1-0 to Hartshill.
Birmingham’s last game of the tournament was against the newly formed Solihull Moors.
Birmingham totally dominated this game.
Roy Williams early shot was pushed wide. Decka’s shot hit the post and Mark Evans effort which ended up in the back of the net was disallowed with the referee awarding Birmingham a penalty instead, as the keeper was judged to have left his area.
Decka calmly slotted home the penalty. 1-0 to Birmingham.
Just a few minutes later the Moors keeper somehow made a double save after a powerful shot from Mark Evans hit him on the head the ball rebound back to Roy Williams, but his shot was blocked.
With only a few minutes to go Birmingham attacked down the left-hand side. Decka cut inside and passed to Dave Whatmore waiting on the edge of the area to score the winning goal with a simple tap in.
Final score 2-0 to Birmingham.
Two draws, one win and one defeat.
Due to the limited playing time available Mini-Tournaments tend to be games of only 15/20 minutes duration.
Not surprisingly the results in the earlier games today tended to be 0-0 or 1-1 draws.
We have have a strong mobile squad of nine players and therefore our style of play is more suited to games of 50/60 minutes duration in which we inflict our pace and stamina as the game progresses, breaking down the opposition and creating more goal scoring opportunities.
Saying that, it was a great sunny day to be playing footie and as always some good banter in the bar afterwards.
(Many thanks to Dawn Feeney today for keeping track on the key points of the games and final scores.)
OVER 63 V BEDWORTH FRIENDLY
Date: 9th October 2020
Squad size: 7 a side
Duration: 30 minutes each half.
This friendly game provided a good opportunity to get more match
practice ahead of the +63’s mini tournament scheduled for Wednesday 14th
October at Coleshill Town FC.
Just prior to kick off Birmingham had to rethink the shape of their
squad as their goalkeeper failed to turn up.
Manager Paul Feeney decided to wear the green jersey which left only one
This game was a good test for Birmingham ahead of the start of the new
+63’s league as Bedworth fielded a team of mixed age groups.
Birmingham started the first half passing with confidence. The solid
back line of Martin Barber, Roger Purchase and Peter Giddings kept
Bedworth at bay and linked up nicely with the busy midfielders Mark
Evans, Steve Dixon and Roy Williams creating some good attacking moves.
But the Bedworth keeper “Baggie” was in fine form and made save after
save, frustrating the Birmingham strike force.
Birmingham had most of the first half possession and their keeper wasn’t
really tested. A reoccurring calf injury to Birmingham’s midfielder
Steve Dixon left Birmingham without a substitute for the remainder of
The second half started like the first half, with Birmingham
peppering the Bedworth goal with numerous shots. Then 10 minutes into
the second half Birmingham’s lone striker Dave Whatmore managed to latch
onto a ball on the edge of the Bedworth goal area and tucked away a low
shot past Baggie. 1-0 to Birmingham.
Birmingham looked to be heading towards a comfortable win in the second
half when Bedworth broke away very quickly and left the Birmingham
defence stranded when Bedworth’s midfielder hammered a long ball
straight down the centre of the pitch to their striker who slotted the
ball away providing Bedworth with an equaliser.
The game finished in 1-1 a draw.
Well done to both teams for a tight paced game, played in good spirit.
Many thanks to Bedworth manager Russ for bringing his squad to Solihull
and his other half for the much appreciated “ Rolling Buffet”
Also well done to the “Man in Black” ( or even Grey and Green) Percy,
who always referees fairly and lets the game flow as much as possible,
to allow everyone to enjoy the game.
Birmingham remain unbeaten in 5 games since the restart of walking
football, post lockdown.
BWFC +63’s V RUSHALL RANGERS
On 21st August Birmingham +63’s played their second post lockdown friendly against Rushall Rangers + 63’s at Rushall Olympic stadium.
Great ground with a superb pitch but due to COVID-19 restrictions we had to get changed on the terraces. Oh, the glamour of Walking Football!
Both teams agreed to play 9 a side on half the full-size pitch, 25 minutes each way in very windy conditions.
B’ ham started the game very confidently, making short accurate passes. Rushall were defending deeply and packing their midfield, so it was difficult to create many clear cut, on goal chances.
Soon the referee’s little black book soon started to fill up with players on both sides being penalised for running and too much contact.
Birmingham were playing well, moving the ball around confidence and were rewarded with a goal when Roy Williams ( Captain) picked up a pass on the left, rounded the defender and fired a low hard shot across the goal mouth leaving the Rushall keeper stranded at the near post. 1-0 to Bham.
Rushall had to come out in the second half to try and level it up. We gradually started to lose possession as our passes were too long. Rushall took advantage and scored with only their second shot of the game. 1-1
B ’ham tried to step up their attack to clinch a winning goal but Rushall reverted back to defending deeply and seemed to be happy with a draw. B ’ham were frustrated at creating very few goal scoring opportunities and not making best use of the free kicks awarded.
Roy Williams seemed to score a perfectly good second goal, but the referee disallowed it. Apparently Roy didn’t have one foot on the ground when he shot!
The game finished as a 1-1 draw, fair result.
Hopefully, we will get the chance to improve our game in the return match yet to be decided for September/ October.
BWFC LADIES WIN WFA AWARD!
Congratulations to ALL those women who take part in our ladies only walking football sessions at Beechcroft and Solihull Football Centre . Since the inception of walking football at Beechcroft in 2014 women have been attending our sessions alongside the men. In the early days there were only a few ladies attending, Sue, Kathy, Caz and Tru, who stuck with us, and continue to be part of our great club. After a number of years we began a ladies only session on a Friday night and to our surprise was attended by 17 women all keen to give the game a try. Soon after our sister club Solihull Football Centre hosted a Monday night session which again has been a hit. We are proud to say since starting the girls have played and won in their very first FA Peoples Cup 2019 and been the over 50’s Dick Kerr Ladies winners two years in a row (2018 & 19). We would like to thank all those who coach, organise and promote our club and of course the members whom without them this award would not be possible.
England Training Day – University of Derby
What a fantastic day – the facilities, the staff and the activities on offer – it was the first time we have managed to gather all 5 England Walking Football teams together and we were made to feel so welcome. The staff were professional and approachable – and the activities of Strength and Conditioning and Sports Psychology were excellent – fun, engaging and perfectly pitched. We have heard from most of the 90 people who attended, and, without exception, the feedback was extremely positive and full or superlatives – We are naturally keen to develop this partnership.
The women 40s and 50s played an internal match within their age group before playing against each other. The referees commented on how wonderful they were to referee, and, as coach, I would also say how keen to learn they are. The 70s carried out a training session before playing an internal match.
The men’s 50s and 60s formed 3 teams – they all played against each other within the age group and each 50s team played one match against a 60s team. This was a very useful exercise as both managers narrow their squads down for the upcoming world cup – ‘The quality of walking football on show was of the very highest standard’ – commented our friends from France Walking Football who were over to observe and learn and they were very impressed with what they saw.
Next for both 50s and 60s are matches against regional teams and for the 2 women’s teams and the 70s an historic occasion at St Georges Park.
WALKING ALL OVER THE WORLD
Recent walking football news from The WFA England Over 60’s Manager
WFA ENGLAND LADIES TRAINING DAY
ENGLAND LADIES 40+ & MENS 70+ LIVE STREAM!
So tomorrow the WFA’s first ever England Ladies team head out to Guernsey for their inaugural International match. The girls team on this occasion is made up of a mixture of the over 40’s and 50’s selected teams from last months trials at Solihull. Travelling with them are the England Mens over 70’s team who play Guernsey mens at the KGV ground (weather permitting). You can watch both matches LIVE by clicking on the following link at approximately 17:20 on FRIDAY 1st NOVEMBER LIVE STREAM HERE!
KOREA TV INTERVIEW
Earlier this year Chairman Paul Murtagh was approached by Korea TV to do an interview on the benefits of walking football for those with dementia. The interview can be seen here on the following link from 3 minutes in ; Walking Football Video from Korea
WFA ENGLAND PREPARE FOR CRETE
The over 50’s and 60’s mens WFA England team prepare to fly to Crete this weekend to play in the Socca World Cup. The tournament is set to be played at a ‘pop up’ temporary stadium built two weeks ago on the beach and will be watched by over 3000 spectators. Most of the teams will be playing normal 6 a side running football, however the hosts Greece will take on England’s over 50’s and 60’s on Sunday in a walking football match.
Follow this BBC link for the full details https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/49338007
WFA FIRST ENGLAND LADIES TEAM – SQUADS ANNOUNCED
After Saturdays second England Ladies trial the very first squad has been announced by stand in Manager Stuart Langworthy. Congratulations to all those ladies who took part in the trials and made the job of picking the teams a hard one! Not only have the squads been picked but the first ever England International for the team takes place next month in Guernsey! Those lucky few chosen to take part on this occasion will be playing in a mixed aged squad of 40’s and 50’s in an exhibition match to promote ladies walking football.
WFA Women’s Walking Football Squads
|Kathryn Critchell||Long Stratton|
|Mandy Walsh||Man City|
|Helen Nock||Moulton & Hadleigh|
|Anne- Marie Craven||Preston|
|Maria Lester||Man City|
WFA’S FIRST EVER ENGLAND LADIES TRIAL
Beautiful weather helped to make the first ever Women’s England Walking Football trials a success last Saturday at Solihull Football Centre near Birmingham. Some excellent talent was on show but perhaps more important was the attitude, spirit, support and togetherness shown by everyone across the age groups. The over 40’s and 50’s trialists (over 50 in all) representing their clubs from across the country were put into teams which then played each other in shorter matches than planned due to the heat! The second trial will take place again at centralised Solihull Football Centre on 12th October where Stuart Langworthy and his team look forward to welcoming back those successful candidates from Saturdays trial and a few new comers. The chosen England women’s teams first match will be in Guernsey before the end of the year. The WFA are still seeking a Manager for the ladies teams and anyone interested should contact Paul Carr on firstname.lastname@example.org.
WFA LATEST NEWSLETTER
Click on the following link to read the most up to date WFA newsletter – https://mailchi.mp/548b0566451f/wfa-newsletter-issue-462071?e=e12b2d3736
England over 50’s and over 60’s Mangers post match interview on youtube https://youtu.be/2EMiP-SPGSk
In the interests of safety, the club will now be adopting a no tackling from behind policy. The current WFA rules state that a ball can be pinched from between the legs if no contact is made. We feel this rule is a little ambiguous and may result in injuries so we have decided to remove this rule. NB, that doesn’t mean you can constantly back into players calling for fouls, if this is the case the foul would go to the other player.
Also in this interests of safety, but this time to our neighbours! If players are seen to be unnecessarily smashing the ball with all their might, just outside the area in order to score a goal and the ball goes over the fence, then this will result in a straight blue card (AT BEECHCROFT ONLY). We feel there is no need to hammer the ball in these situations and that generally a passed finish is what players should be striving to achieve. Obviously we understand that no one does this intentionally but we feel action is necessary to preserve the safety of the neighbours and also potential injuries to the poor, generally reluctant, ‘goalkeeper’ that stands there for 5 minutes waiting to come back out again! Please note that this also refers to warm ups prior to games.
In every instance this is at the referee’s discretion and his decision is final. On the subject of referees, I would like to take this opportunity to ask for all of your assistance in supporting a number of new referees that we are currently training. This is not an easy job and it is probably more difficult to referee walking football than any form of the standard game due to the ambiguous nature of the walking/running conundrum that all walking football referee’s face. I would ask for your patience and support towards them when you are in sessions because without these individuals the sessions do not take place.
FIRST EVER ENGLAND WALKING FOOTBALL SQUAD ANNOUNCED
After 4 regional trials, Stuart Langworthy the England over 60’s manager and Paul Murtagh the England over 50’s manager have named the following squad for the England v Italy international match on the 13th May at Brighton’s Amex stadium.
OVER 60’s SQUAD
John Sykes – Long Bennington
Kevin Schmid – Watford
John Hammonds – Stroud
Ross Everton – Eastleigh
Trevor Brown – Herne Bay
Allan Carrington – Hatfield
Vic Vaines – Leggy Mambos
Graham Curry – Long Bennington
Paul Leary – Sheffield
Stephen Beresford – Leggy Mambos
Spencer Pratten – Chelmsford. Captain
Peter Stacey – Sheffield
Jim Laidlaw – Peterlee
Alan Kennedy – Liverpool
James Trant – Eastleigh
Roy Gladwell – Grimsby
Derek Thorp – Birmingham
Alan Davies – Leggy Mambos
John Cooper – Hartshill
Pat Folan – Heanor
Graham Collier – Matlock
Tommy Charlton – Rotherham
OVER 50’s SQUAD
Andy Jaques – Sheffield Utd
Rob Keating – Solent FC
Pete Gibbons – Hartshill Strollers
Trevor Hanson – Blackburn Rovers
Rob Pass – Stroud
Paul Derbyshire – Leggy Mambos
Simon Sheppard – Norwich
Darren Bradley – Birmingham
Jefferson Simon – Leicester
Paul Walton – Leggy Mambos
Nick Morris – Leeds Titans
Kevin Symington – Sheffield Utd
Neil Brown – Herne Bay (Captain)
Ian Ward – Pele’s Pearls
Peter Henry – Eastwood Falcons
Paul Brown – Leyton Orient
Paul Kirby – Stamford Strollers
Neil Davey – Herne Bay
David Wright – Birmingham
Neil Carr – Blue Flames (Newcastle)
David Norton – Birmingham
Neil Evans – Leggy Mambos
THE ENGLAND HEADACHE BEGINS!
Last Saturday saw the last of four Over 50’s England walking football trials, this time at Solihull Walking Football Centre near Birmingham. Thirty more of the country’s best players were nominated by their clubs, along with a few other hopefuls who were prepared to sit on a waiting list in case of no shows or injuries on the day, such was the passion of these guys in an attempt to make selection of the inaugural England team.
The players were once again teamed up for matches and given various scenarios including different pitch sizes to see how they responded both individually and as a team. The England Management team were not disappointed! The trialists showed resilience and respect in adhering to the WFA referee decisions and the whole event finished injury free!
Manager Paul Murtagh said, “The game of Walking Football has been growing exponentially over the last few years with a further noticeable increase in participations levels over the last 12 months and we have been delighted by the response and attendance of these trials. The quality of the players has also been a pleasant surprise and the enormity of the task we now have to select a squad from so many quality players is really starting to sink in. May I take this opportunity to announce our first international match against Italy on the 13th May at Brighton and Hove Albion’s, Amex Stadium. In light of this very recent development we would say to all selected for the next stage that they will need to be committed over the coming weeks if they are to represent their country.
On reflection, at all of the trials we have been immensely pleased and privileged to have witnessed such an extremely high standard. All of the players in attendance have shown great attitude and enthusiasm towards the process. Demonstrating dignity and respect to other opponents, with a healthy level of competition combining to produce and embrace the true ethos of walking football.
The feedback we have received during this new venture has only been positive. Players expressing feelings of enjoyment and pride in being involved, including the buzz of opportunity to rise to the challenge and play amongst the best players in the country. Irrespective of backgrounds and experience people have been brought together, they have put club rivalries to one side, played with a smile on their face and shared a joke at the end. We hope that new friendships and associations are also formed as a result. Surely that’s what it’s all about!
Whether you agree or disagree with the whole procedure it’s all about choice and opportunity for all. If one person has enjoyed a day at the trials then all the hard work has been worth it. With the exposure the trials have created maybe others will be inspired to take up the game irrespective of age or ability.
This international walking football initiative has been a trailblazing opportunity for all involved, hopefully this new venture contributes to further develop the game at different levels both at home and abroad. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the clubs and their players for their support. Also, the referees, that have received much acclaim for their professionalism throughout. The venues and staff that have helped facilitate the trials and special thanks to the voluntary support of my management team and the support of the over 60’s team including all involved at the WFA”.
Thanks to Brian Keates for the photos
Thanks to Ruth Tongue for the warm up / cool down sessions.
BWFC/ENGLAND & WALES ON WELSH TV
Back in January Birminghams over 50’s represented England in the Home International game against Wales at the Pontypridd Stadium. The impressive England side finished 8-1 and footage from the match and interviews with managers was aired last night on Welsh TV. Click on the link to watch.
BWFC AT ST GEORGES PARK – 5/4/18
Today some of our lucky over 50’s were invited by the FA to play at St Georges Park in a short tournament against three other walking football teams along with other youth teams from the region. In addition to the tournaments the teams all got a tour of Englands training ground and amazing facilities at the centre in Burton. Whilst there the FA hosted the UEFA Under 17 European Championship fixtures draw where honorary ambassador Wayne Rooney and ex England Ladies Alex Scott took part. Our very own England Over 50’s Manager Paul Murtagh and team coach David Castle got a brief meet with current England Team Manager Gareth Southgate and quized him for advice on the up and coming England games!
Sport Relief 5 Live-A-Side Challenge Manchester
Friday saw BWFC gather a last minute team to head to Manchester to play against Robbie Savages Allstars in aid of Sport Relief. Heres the match report.
Having cleared registration, the team took to the field. We shook hands
with Robbie and his team before we started, just in case we didn’t want to
With Alan George sitting out as sub the starting line-up of
Les Dawson (Goalkeeper), Simon Dyer and John Crampton in defence, Alan
Baillie (Midfield) and Mark Gibbons up front flew out of the blocks and put
the pressure on the opposition from the off. With just 16 minutes to make
our mark we didn’t want to hang about, and it wasn’t long before JC
slipped a ball through to Mark who netted the first goal of the game.
The play was end to end and, just as Robbie thought his team were getting the
upper hand, Alan George sent a great ball to Alan Baillie who hit a superb drive straight
across the keeper and into the far corner. 2-0 Birmingham.
Mr Savage thought he was going to get one back for the celebrities, but Les Dawson
made two great blocks to deny the blonde terrier, who wasn’t too happy with
Les. Shame! Simon Dyer was doing a great job in keeping the opposition
in check at the back, so Robbie decided to bring on Peter Reid in an effort
to get past Simon, but to no avail. Meanwhile, Birmingham were making
regular changes to the team. It was to give every player an equal time on
the pitch, but quite frankly I think this just confused the opposition.
Great tactics! Shortly before the end JC broke through to side foot a
third goal. In those immortal words, they thought it was all over – it was
CALLING ALL BWFC SUPPORTERS
The next two days are full of walking football matches for our BWFC teams as our over 60’s take on Weston-super-Mare in a friendly at Solihull Football Centre at 15:00 on Friday (23rd March) and FOUR other teams (Over 50’s Blues, Over 50’s Whites, Over 65’s and Ladies) take part in the FA Peoples Cup at Star City kicking off at 14:00 on Saturday (24th March). We urge any of you who are free to come and support at both locations and cheer our teams to success!!
OVER 50’S & 60’S ENGLANDS TRIALS IN BURNLEY
Whilst there was furore over famous faces and names attending the over 60’s England Trials in Burnley, this did not detract from ‘business as usual’ at the over 50’s. The superb exposure that the sport is currently receiving from all levels of the media, meant the 27 hopefuls from the Northern region needed to stay focussed. Amongst premiership surrounding of Gawthorpe Hall, Burnley FC’s incredible facilities provided the backdrop for what many would consider the most competitive and hard fought trial to date.
Quality players from some of the country’s top teams came together in an attempt to showcase their credentials to get selected for the inaugural over 50’s England squad.
The England selectors were not disappointed as players gave their all and adapted well to the differing scenarios and situations that were put to them. As in all the trials, players ‘thrown’ together created some excellent football and some real food for thought for the management team.
After the trial manager Paul Murtagh commented …
“Today has been a pretty special day, the facilities here at Burnley are amazing and the players seemed to have responded accordingly. Obviously this week has been fantastic for the game with the overwhelming media interest in Tommy (Charlton) and Alan (Kennedy). We hope, that as a result, the exposure raises further awareness of the sport and that other people may be inspired to take the plunge, give it a go and enjoy the many benefits of Walking Football. With regards to the trials we are grateful for the support again from the players, as we all know that without the players that are here and more importantly the players and officials from the clubs around the country we don’t have a sport. We were looking forward to coming here today and we were certainly not disappointed, many of these guys have given us a really difficult task when we select the squad next month, the selection headache gets worse!”
The final trial is to be held early April and the squad for the first International against Italy in May is due to be announced shortly after.
FA INVITE TO ST GEORGES PARK
Last Friday saw nine of our walking footballers get an invite to St Georges Park in Burton, training ground to the England team! The invitation involved the guys playing on the indoor astro pitch, getting a tour of the park and being involved in various interviews and photo shoots to promote the up and coming FA Peoples Cup.
BWFC ON SKY SPORTS
If you missed BWFC on sky sports a few months ago, don’t frett! Get yourself a cuppa sit down and relax and enjoy the film courtesy of The Walking Football Association, SGTV and Sky Sports!
” You’ll Never Walk Alone” – https://thewfa.co.uk/#fvp_promo-2
BWFC NATIONAL TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS 2017
Birmingham Over 50’s confirmed their status as the leading lights in Walking Football as they took their second major National Trophy in as many months, as they were crowned National Champions in the most prestigious WFA Tournament.
Up against two previous winners and a three times finalist they took the spoils with an impressive all round display, their first game against Leggy Mambos from Barnsley was a cagey affair Darren Bradley and David Castle kept things tight at the back and only limited opportunities for Ian Ward and Dave Norton meant a statement 0-0 result . In their second fixture against Stroud, Birmingham totally dominated as shots rained in on John Hammonds in the Stroud goal, some incredible saves and the post kept Birmingham at bay, then an innocuous shot found its way to the back of Birmingham’s net. Mike Milligan was proving a handful for Stroud’s defence as he continually found Ward and Norton with superb passes, Andy Struthers and Dave Wright both went close when yet another Milligan pass slipped in Ward and his low shot beat the keeper only for the referee to have adjudged it as encroaching the area. With time ticking away Birmingham were staring their first defeat at impressive Solihull base, when a brilliant Bradley pass saw Dave Norton fire home .With the Brummies totally on top Norton scored again with only seconds remaining to mean only a draw was needed to qualify for the final.
Last year’s Champions Herne Bay stood in their way, another Dave Norton rocket put Birmingham in control and their flowing game meant a comfortable passage to their first ever WFA National Final as the Bradley and Castle partnership again proved solid. If their group stage game against the all conquering Leggy Mambos was cagey, the final was anything but, both teams had chances in the first few minutes with Derek Hughes making an excellent save in the Birmingham goal, Two minutes before half time Ward and Norton exchanged passes brilliantly and Norton coolly slotted home in front of the jubilant crowd to put one and on the cup.
Shortly after half time Norton swivelled and shot to put Birmingham two up with seven minutes to play, Leggy Mambo’s then threw everything at Birmingham and gave themselves hope with a goal two minutes from time, in a breakaway Norton had a chance to complete his hat-trick but blazed over from close range. Milligan calmed everyone’s nervous with a faultless display retaining possession for long periods and the referees whistle meant Birmingham were National Champions.
Dave Norton was duly named Player of the Tournament for his brilliant 5 goals and all round play, but the secret of their hugely successful season has been the journey they have made has been as a team with everyone contributing at important times. They now represent England in the Home Internationals in Wales in December with the hope of been crowned British Champions.
After the game Birmingham Manager Paul Murtagh said, “I can’t tell you how relieved I am that we finally won in this major tournament! These guys deserve it after all the near misses and disappointment they’ve had in the previous years, always a bridesmaid tag can now be officially removed! The team played tremendously well today and all got behind the ball and defended their lead when it really mattered. Respect goes out to our worthy opponents Leggy Mambos who battled till the final whistle.”
BREAKING NEWS – ENGLAND MANAGERS APPOINTED
BIRMINGHAM FA PREMIER LEAGUE TROPHY – 22/10/17 – OVER 50’s
BWFC had a busy day last Sunday with BWFC Blues playing in the National Championships Central Final at Solihull and BWFC Whites playing for the Birmingham FA Premier League trophy! The Whites who played away in Bedworth beat Coleshill Town 2-0, Bedworth United 3-0 and lost out in their last game to an active Wyndley side 3-2! Manager Simon Dyer taking the role of Goal keeper in place of the regular Martin Williams due to the sudden passing of his Mother, our thoughts and sympathies are with him and his family. Congratulations to the team who get to hold the coverted shield for the next twelve months!
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS CENTRAL FINAL – 22/10/17 OVER 50’s WINNERS
Birmingham’s Over 50 ’s confirmed their place in the Prestigious WFA National Final for the second consecutive year, by overcoming Sheffield United, Norwich City and Hereford, they became the only team to qualify for all four majors in 2017 (Peoples Cup, EFL Trophy and Champion of Champions)
Their first fixture played at Solihull Walking Football Centre against Sheffield proved a tight affair, the ever impressive Ian Ward giving the Brummies the lead in the first minute as his shot slid under the advancing keeper. Birmingham looked solid and compact at the back with Darren Bradley, David Castle and Shane Ward rotating successfully to deny any threat from the Yorkshire men. On the stroke of half time, Bradley was adjudged to have encroached into the area and the resulting penalty was despatched with confidence to draw the scores level. The second half was much the same as the first as Birmingham seemed in control with their passing game working to great effect. From a free kick Sheff Utd were found napping and a brilliant short pass from Darren Bradley found Shane Ward in space and he cooly slotted home. Despite losing a player in the last two minutes Birmingham saw out the game with some resolute and effective defending. Derek Hughes in goal showing both confidence and great distribution.
The 2-1 victory against their perceived most difficult opponent had left Birmingham in great spirit , but realising they needed to be thoroughly professional they kept their shape and concentration during their next game against Norwich City who had lost their first fixture to Hereford, Manager Paul Murtagh continually using rotating substitutes to great effect , once again the perfect start was achieved as Dave Norton turned from a Andy Struthers pass to smash home the opener, then Dave Wright, used as an impact substitute, rolled his defender continually to score two sublime goals to give Birmingham a 3-0 half time lead. Struthers, Ward and the in-form Wright went close in the second half, but to no avail, the only blemish for Birmingham being a sloppy last minute consolation for Norwich. The 3-1 victory meant that only a draw was needed to secure their place in the National Final.
Hereford had proved to be a tough opponent but lacked a cutting edge, so Birmingham knew that a goal would probably be enough for them to confirm qualification, Norton, Castle and Ian Ward had all had chances but a goalless first half meant it was still in the balance. Dave Wright then produced some sublime skill as another inch perfect Norton pass was latched onto and he cooly dinked the keeper to give Birmingham the lead, this was soon doubled as Norton beat the keeper on the near post with a superb turn and shot a 2-0 victory confirming their advancement.
After the game Manager Paul Murtagh commented, “This was a very satisfying victory for us, having 7 outfield players of the quality we have gives me so many options with rotating the guys, giving them breaks and enabling them to stay fresh. At times our football was a joy to watch, Dave, Brads and Shane are developing such a good understanding at the back and in Norts, Andy, Dave and Wardy we have goals and skill in abundance. We know we need to stay focussed and we will have a chance in the final next week, the WFA Final has always been our focus, as we were not happy with our performance at last year’s event, this gives us a great opportunity to put it right “
BWFC AND DAVE NORTON HIT THE HEADLINES ONCE MORE!
Our very own Dave Norton gets interviewed by The Local Answer on his take of our version of the beautiful game… https://thelocalanswer.co.uk/news/sports/football/1709-all-general-walking-football.aspx
WFA LEAGUE OF CHAMPIONS TOURNAMENT WINNERS
Birmingham finally land a major!
BWFC made it 2 trophies in 2 weeks following up from their Bham FA league success, the previous week. Winning the league meant that BWFC qualified for the WFA league of Champions trophy. The tournament brought together all the winners of their respective leagues and was to be held at the new walking football centre in Solihull. Teams from Hartlepool to Kent travelled to the new centre to play the tournament in glorious sunshine throughout the day.
First up for BWFC were the very solid Seaton Carew from Hartlepool. A cagey 0-0 affair was played out with the best chance falling to Seaton that brought out the very best of the Birmingham keeper Derek Hughes, diving at full stretch to keep out the Northerners. Notoriously slow starters BWFC soon found their groove and dispatched Derbyshire outfit, Risley Kicks 5-1, with goals from D Norton, A Struthers, I Ward, D Wright and goal of the tournament from Ian ‘Razor’ Gough. Next up for BWFC were Abbeymead Rovers, a very comfortable 2-0 win, Birmingham rarely troubled, looking comfortable throughout, Dave Norton and Dave Wright on the score sheet. As the tournament heated up Birmingham and National Champions Herne Bay were both unbeaten and faced each other next. Birmingham took the initiative but with Herne Bay happy to defend around their area, chances were at a premium. Best chance falling to Dave Norton in the final minute who chipped the keeper but unfortunately ‘over head height’! final score 0-0. Final game for Birmingham was against Derbyshire league champs Burton Albion. Due to tournament rules BWFC just needed to win and not concede (goals against taking priority over goal difference). A thoroughly professional job was done in emphatic style winning 5-0. (D Norton, D Wright, I Ward x 2, A Struthers). Birmingham now sat top of the league but with Seaton Carew and Herne Bay still to play. Seaton triumphed in an ill tempered affair which meant BWFC finished 2nd unbeaten, only conceding 1 goal. BWFC now faced Seaton in a repeat of the opening game in the final. Seaton took the upper hand in the early stages while Birmingham adopted to the larger pitch. BWFC grew into the game and it took a moment of quality from Darren Bradley to break the deadlock. Bradley latched onto an inch perfect pass following a free kick from Ian Ward and dispatched a superb strike into the bottom left corner of the Seaton goal. BWFC played out the remainder of the match without scare to seal their first major success.
Manager Paul Murtagh commented …
“I thought the lads were class today, every one of them played for each other and the team gelled as a result. It’s so satisfying to finally win a major trophy having come so close on so many other occasions, It’s extra sweet to do it on our new ground! Hopefully this win has broken the duck and is the first of many as we establish ourselves as a major force in the game”
BIRMINGHAM COUNTY FA WALKING FOOTBALL LEAGUE.
Qualification for the semi final of The WFA Central Final on October 22nd meant that Birmingham’s over 50’s had to go into the penultimate weekend of the inaugural County FA league having to fulfil their remaining four fixtures to ensure their name was on the trophy, as a fixture clash would have ensued.
Knowing that 3 wins from their remaining fixtures would be enough they were relaxed if not spectacular in their 5-0 win over Coleshill. A brace from Ian Ward and singles from Darren Bradley, Dave Norton and Dave Wright meant only two more wins were needed. Meantime Sutton Town’s team had failed to arrive which meant a 3-0 walk over left one win from two games would be enough to take the spoils.
Birmingham started brightly as shots rained in on the Bedworth keeper, Norton was denied with a brilliant save which was pushed onto the crossbar and both Ward and Wright were also thwarted by the woodwork. As Birmingham pushed for what would be the title winning goals they were caught out at the back, Dave Castle was unable to stop a three man break and Bedworth scored past Derek Hughes after 6 minutes. Press as they might the brummies were unable to unlock a solid and organised defence and then some brilliant goalkeeping. In fact but for a couple of outstanding close range saves from Hughes it could have been more as Bedworth’s counter attacking game was proving effective. A 1-0 defeat, their first of the whole tournament meant only victory against Wyndley would be enough to crown Birmingham as Champions and in turn qualify them for the Champions trophy to be held at Solihull the following week.
Normal service was resumed as a brilliant Andy Struthers pass for the first of Dave Norton’s hat trick and two from Dave Wright meant a 5-1 victory and another trophy for the bulging cabinet at Beechcroft Avenue.
Afterwards captain Dave Castle said, “At times today we looked flat , we have played a lot together now and should be able to adapt a little better than what we did when teams put men behind the ball. Sometimes though when we’ve gone so long unbeaten a defeat can do us good , perhaps bring some perspective and reality to the situation, but at the end of the day we have done enough to win the trophy and that’s the main thing.”
NEW ONLINE CLUB SHOP FOR BWFC MERCHANDISE GOES LIVE!!!
As promised the new club shop which has a range of on and off field clothing including the new playing strip. has now gone LIVE!
Just click on the link and order any items you require direct with the Macron shop and get them delivered to your home address. These clothing items are a great idea for Christmas / Birthday presents so why not get your list together early this year?!
Alternatively paste the following into your browser … https://macronstorewestmidlands.com/shop/club-shops/birmingham-walking-fc/
WALKING FOOTBALL PROMOTIONAL VIDEO
BWFC has recently been working with the Walking Football Association (WFA) to promote the game so for your viewing pleasure click on the following link for a look .. https://player.vimeo.com/video/221236255.
LOVE BRUM CHEQUE PRESENTATION
Love Brum came down to Beechcroft yesterday to present our team with a cheque for £1130!!! A huge thanks to all those at Love Brum, BCFC and HJ Wealth and Planning for their support and belief in our community club, which are extremely grateful.
REDDITCH STANDARD WORLD CUP ARTICLE
ENGLAND WIN THE WORLD CUP!
Now there’s a term you thought you’d never hear again, for a while at least!
BWFC were invited to enter a team to represent England in the International Super Vets 5 a side world cup football tournament held in Swansea 12th May 2017. Games were scheduled against teams representing Scotland, Wales and Canada. The Over 65’s Walking football category was a first for the tournament organizers who have been organizing international tournaments all over the world since 2009. First up for England was Scotland, and England got off to a dream start when Derek Thorp slotted home to put the three lions 1 up after being superbly set up by his brother Malcolm. However, a few minutes later a mix up in the England defence allowed Scotland back in to level at 1-1. England struggled to find the fluency they showed in recent warm up games and Scotland (fielding BWFC midfielder Frank Hughes) were deserving of their point, Final score 1-1. Next up, England v Wales Vets, again Derek Thorp produced a fine strike to put England in the driving seat early on to go 1-0 up against the experienced Welsh. An even contest throughout with the Welsh causing problems for the English defence making good use of the aerial ball and the ability of the goalkeeper to advance out of his area. In one such instance the Welsh were lucky to have their goalkeeper on the pitch after deliberately handling a goal bound shot on the half way line!! Fortunately it didn’t prove costly for England and they ran out deserved winners, Final score 1-0. England v Wales (YMA O HUD), the People’s Cup finalists of 2015 proved to be no match for England 2 more from D.Thorp, 1 from M.Thorp and a deserved goal for John Crampton really cemented England as the team to beat at the tournament. The scoreline could have been by a greater margin after striking the woodwork twice and missing a penalty. Goals were now precious as England were only ahead of the impressive Scots by goals scored in the tournament table, Final score 4-0. England v Canada, getting their early tournament nerves well out of the way now the England team started to find their groove and brushed aside Canada with 2 further goals from D Thorp and a sublime back healed finish from M Thorp. Keith Phipps, who had never played in goal before the tournament warm up games, was proving to be a real find with a string of fine saves all afternoon. With Del Whitmore and Barry Huntington marshalling the defence superbly England looked secure at the back. John Crampton and Dave Burgess showed their versatility by doing the job asked of them in both Midfield and defence and John Limborne proved he can play in more than one position and was unlucky to hit the post with a fine strike late on. Final score 3-0. Final game for England were the host team representing Wales (Swansea City). It wasn’t long before any nerves we’re calmed when England were awarded a penalty after M.Thorp was clumsily brought down in the area, Derek stepped up only to have his spot kick saved but the impressive Barry Huntington was first to react to hammer home the rebound. A deserved goal for Barry who had been superb all tournament who had gone close several times. A hat trick from goal machine Derek Thorp put the contest beyond doubt and the team played the ball around like Brazil, in glorious sunshine, Final score 4-0. Scotland now needed to score 8 goals in their last match against Wales to overturn the English and a 0-0 draw confirmed England as ‘over 65’s 5 a side world champions’.
Goal scorers, D.Thorp 8, M.Thorp 2, J.Crampton 1, Barry Huntington 1.
Manager Paul Murtagh commented
‘After the recent disappointments suffered by the over 50’s, this victory was even sweeter, I’m over the moon. I felt our preparation was good, the team adapted well to different rules and overcame some quality opposition. Every man played their part and did everything I asked of them. They can all be very proud of themselves and have proved they are a force to be reckoned with in the over 65’s category.”
Beechcrofts Christmas Party 2016
Thank you to all those members, players friends and family who attended this years Christmas party, held at Solihull Indoor Bowls Club. A great night was had by all, full of dancing, food, drink and laughter! A raffle and auction was held to raise money for the club with prizes being donated by, Our sponsors Advanced Colour Coatings (Kev Mann), Mailcoms, Asda, Nandos Shirley, Bangla Lounge Hall Green, The Willows, Blue Ice Plaza & Sally Bluck, Paul Murtagh and Matt Corp.
House Of Commons FA Presentation 6/6/16
Today was a very proud day for BWFC as our very own John Cassano, who has been with our Walking football Club since the very early days, was presented with a commendation for being a finalist in the FA Mars Just Play Player awards 2016. John and Birmingham’s Walking Football Manager Paul Murtagh attended the event at the House of Commons in London, where they got to meet other finalists and walking football communities from across the uk. John over the past two years has been very hands on with the club, collecting money, making the tea, showing magic tricks to entertain us all at half time! He has shown true commitment to his team by attending sessions up to 4 times a week, improving his fitness and loosing weight. We are delighted that John has been recognised in this way and we would like to thank the FA for a wonderful experience.
BWFC footballers captured on film
Last week saw the BBC get inspired film crew interview and film some of our walking footballers on the road to the semi finals of the FA Peoples Cup.
BEECHCROFT WINS AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING PROJECT!
Some weeks ago we were nominated for a Solihull Together For Better Lives award of which we became Finalists! The presentation ceremony took place at the Renewal Centre in Solihull last week where the Mayor of Solihull announced Paul Murtagh the winner of the Award for an Outstanding Project Delivered in the community 2015 for our Walking Football development!
Read about us winning the award . There is the short video of the presentation – ( skip to 3.55 for our award)