For those gentlemen not yet dead, but maybe rapidly approaching it, there is a newish pastime available of which I have been hearing a few tales, and I might have mentioned before: I speak of Walking Football for the over fifties. I use capital letters because by all accounts some people are starting to take it seriously. The idea is to keep those with a love of the game, but no longer keen on, or that capable of, running about and getting kicked, involved and enjoying it again. Good idea. The FA are even talking about producing a set of rules. A reliable source tells me this is all well and good, except nobody takes any notice of the minimal rules that apply now. My reporter also says it's a real good game if played in the right spirit, with an emphasis on good passing and clever movement, but some, mostly he reckons those who didn’t play much in their younger days, but have managed to stay reasonably fit by avoiding cigarettes and alcohol and by going to the gym, have a tendency to spoil it by running about aimlessly and wellying the ball in all directions and none. This may be nothing but prejudice of course from someone who fancies himself as an undiscovered Paul Scholes. Anyway it seems to be booming, which is a good thing of course, keeping the elderly on their feet and dancing is to be encouraged, but I can’t see it becoming a spectator sport, unless the sight of old men falling over and falling out floats your boat.
RCA's Craig Hodgson hurdles a challenge during the 3-2 victory at Newton Aycliffe. Photograph: Simon Mears.