On Sunday 21st October, Stamford AFC Strollers joined forces with Boston United walking football team to enter the inaugural Walking Football Association 70+ National Championship.
The rules dictated that all outfield players were at least 70- years old whilst the goal keeper was allowed to be 60+.
Drawn in a qualifying group with the Welsh National team, Nottingham Bramcote and Weston & Desborough, the United team went down 0-1 in their first game with a bitty performance against Nottingham. The team bounced back with a well deserved 1-0 victory over the Wales squad thanks to a thunderbolt of a goal from Bob Lear. Other results in the group meant that the team needed a draw in their last game to qualify for the semi-finals. Although dominating the final group game against Weston, the team were wasteful in front of goal but never-the-less fought their way through with a 0-0 draw.
This brought up tournament favourites Portsmouth as our opponents in the semi-final. Portsmouth started strongly and their slicker passing and greater mobility saw them run our 2-0 winners.
Brushing off the disappointment of missing out on the final, the Stamford and Boston lads took to the field against Sheffield United in the 3rd/4th play off. Again our lads had the lion’s share of possession but some good goalkeeping at both ends saw this one finish 0-0 too. The result was then decided by a penalty shoot out with Stamford & Boston United winning thanks to three well struck penalties from Bob Lear, Geoff Ward and skipper Ian Cooke.
Third place in the inaugural WFA National 70-+ Championship, a proud day for the players, everyone involved and for the people of Stamford and Boston.