Having hit the ripe old age of seventy the body was starting to seize up. I always played football in my youth and wondered if anybody would be interested in starting up an oldies walking football club. In years gone by, back in the UK in Norfolk, I started a local football club running two teams and managing it for six years so had a bit of experience behind me. I put the word out for oldie footballers on social media and through what used to be our magazine the Gran Alacant Advertiser. As volunteers or victims answered I made up an email list to keep everyone up to date with the progress. Everyone then had to be emailed about what day and time suited them best. Eventually Thursday 5pm until 6pm was agreed.

We are so lucky on Gran Alacant to have the brilliant sports centre facility where we can play indoors out of the sun and heat. Then we had to book the pitch. I spoke with the person at the sports centre and had to fill in a form and take it to Santa Pola to the town hall. After having the form stamped I had to take it back to the sports centre where I then had to meet up later with a guy there who gave me another form which I had to take to the bank and pay 18 euro for the one hour hire time. I then had to take the receipt from the bank, back to the sports centre. At last all was ready for the first night. For the second and subsequent weeks the sports centre enabled me to deal with the Gran Alacant town hall, rather than having to go into Santa Pola. This made bookings so much easier. Thank you to them.

We had nine players who could all turn up on that first night. We have many more who will join us as and when they are available. The first night was such a success that we have all decided to book the facility for every week going forward. We played for ten minute intervals. A few of us fell over including me, three times just because the legs had forgotten how to work properly, the most important thing is that nobody got hurt. The no tackling rule helped that.

One of the players on this first night, was doing a referee course in England and the football governing body FIFA gave him two match balls for him to donate to a worthy cause, and guess what, he donated them to us, the new walking football team for oldies, on Gran Alacant. How nice was that.

The second session saw two new players. The game was only in play for a while when a loud pop was heard. Poor Michael Darbyshire moved too quick for a man of his age :)) and unfortunately he pulled his calf muscle. I am sure most of you have seen him limping around Gran Alacant. Get well soon Michael! Besides that injury all the players had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed it.

So players coming and leaving when they are out here in their properties on long holidays, as well as a few regulars. At the third session two young Spanish boys were on the touchline kicking a ball about , so we invited them to join us, one on each side. They were good lads and after we slowed them down they enjoyed their time with us. This is an opportune time to tell you all about the wonderful sports centre facility we have here on Gran Alacant. There is an indoor arena for football, basketball, and many other indoor sports. Outside you can book and play football, tennis and padel. Showers, toilets and changing rooms are provided in the fee you pay for your activity.

 If you would like to join us, as few or as many times to suite you, just email me for all updates at laneinspain@hotmail.com Or turn up at the sports centre on Gran Alacant every Thursday 5pm until 6pm