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Walking football has arrived at Harrogate Town AFC

Harrogate Town AFC, walking football1

Published at 12:19pm 20th February 2019.

Harrogate Town AFC Promoted by
Harrogate Town AFC

Harrogate Town Football Club have started their own walking football team for over 50's as the national phenomenon continues to grow in popularity.

The National League club are welcoming older players to participate in weekly sessions at the CNG Stadium on Wetherby Road.

The walking football sessions run on Monday and Thursday afternoons and the club are looking to compete in some 50+ and 60+ leagues across Yorkshire and the North of England.

The sport is already engaging thousands of people every week across the nation and Harrogate Town have joined over 900 football clubs who participate.

Harrogate Town AFC, walking football2
The Harrogate Town walking football team welcome over 50's and over 60's to train at the CNG Stadium

Harrogate resident Andy Town, was the manager of the Harrogate Walking Football team before approaching Harrogate Town AFC:

"We asked Harrogate Town if we could amalgamate with them and, as it happened, they were looking to start a team under their Community Foundation.

"I had to admit that I couldn't play 11-a-side anymore and, like many footballers, scoffed at the idea of walking football until I tried it and it's something else. It's not old blokes staggering about, there's a lot of speed and skill involved."

Iain Service, Community Development Manager at Harrogate Town AFC, is a big fan of the new version of the game:

"We've got plenty of opportunities from 50+ and 60+ leagues, for those who may have played when they were younger and are finding that competitive spirit again in a team environment.

"They're making friends and they do want to win but we're doing that in the right way."

Beth and Iain, Harrogate Town AFC, walking football
Stray FM's Beth Parsons poses with Community Development Manager Iain Service after her goal in the walking football match

The Rules

Walking football is governed by the Walking Football Association (WFA) and has a very specific set of rules that differ from a normal game of football:

  • Each team must have six players on the field, with no more than three substitutes
  • Running or jogging on or off the ball is NOT permitted by any player
  • The ball cannot travel above head height (defined as 1.83m)
  • The game is non-contact and deliberate/reckless physical contact is not permitted
  • The standard goal size has a maximum width of 5m and a maximum height of 2m

Beth Parsons from Stray FM's Family Show paid a visit to the CNG Stadium to find out more about the sport and take part in a training session:

More family stories from Harrogate, Craven and Wharfedale.