5 JUL 2018
As World Cup fever grips the nation, we caught up with Spencer Pratten MRICS who spends his weekdays undertaking survey and valuation work, and his weekends captaining England’s walking football over-60s team.
On 13 May, at Brighton & Hove’s Amex Stadium, I proudly led the England over-60s walking football team out to a cacophony of noise, as fans gathered to witness a piece of football history. This was the first ever official walking football international match and the opponents were The Azzurri, or Italy as they are better known. The game finished with England winning the match 3-0.
I played during the 1980s and 1990s for the RICS national team, enjoying many European tours during that spell, and an unforgettable exhibition match against the England World Cup squad who included a good number of the 1966 winning team.
This new slower paced and, in theory, contact-free version of the world’s favourite sport has been a godsend to me, and to the thousands of UK participants, and worldwide players, all of whom have been given a new lease of football-life. It is the world’s fastest growing sport with clubs springing up across the planet. Next year will see England host the first European Championship, with 2020 seeing us also host the first World Cup. My aim as current skipper will be to maintain fitness and lead the side out for both tournaments.
If there are any people, men or women reading this piece that yearn to pull on a football shirt again and lace up some boots, and are aged between 50 and 80, then I can say no more than check online for your nearest WF club within the UK, give them a ring and get along to see what all the fuss is about.