Walking to Cup Glory



Strathaven, in deepest Scotland, echoed to the cries, laughter and referee’s whistle last week. No tears at this tournament though, but plenty of highly skilled playing, penalty shoot-outs and half time pies. Indeed, there was a rumour that a certain Mr Clarke was hovering in the background on the lookout for some dedicated homegrown talent.

Strathaven Dynamos football club hosted an introductory session to the joys of walking football and the chance to find out more about Sporting Memories. Four teams took part. Midlothian Ladies and Stenhousemuir walking football teams travelled to the ground and were joined by a mixed team from Strathaven Dynamos and the Select Six from Sporting Memories Scotland.

It was rather a gusty grey day but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the teams. All the banter and craic you would expect from the dressing rooms before kick-off but after a quick session to clarify the rules of engagement for the teams and some very professional looking warms-ups, they were off!

Watch the tournament highlights here

It was then down to the serious stuff of winning. The referees had quite a challenge to keep some of the more enthusiastic players from taking off into a run – very forbidden – and no ankle ripping tackles were allowed. In fact, more than one player commented how hard it was not to run and to maintain a walking pace, albeit a pace that would put champion race walkers to shame.

Going into lunch, we now knew that the final would be played between Strathaven Dynamos and the Sporting Memories Select Six. Tactics were discussed in the dressing rooms over a delicious buffet lunch very kindly provided by our hosts. There weren’t any hairdryer moments but there might have been a hairspray moment or two as the wind was wrecking any sense of style.

One the final kicked off it became quite clear both teams were out to WIN. There was much marking of key players on both teams. A lot of shots at goal, some hotly disputed, but the final whistle left the scoreline as 1-1. Time for a penalty shootout with each team putting forward their best prospects. That ended in a draw as well. So it was now a nail biting Sudden Death. For the Sporting Memories Select Six, there was only one player for them – Brian – Sureshot – Sloan. And he did it, to much jubilation from their supporters.

But mention must be made of the teams from Stenhousemuir and Midlothian. All the guys and ladies had given up their Friday morning to come along. They played their hearts out and brought a lot of laughs to the event.

Roll on 2025 and to another fun successful tournament for all ages and abilities.

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