John Aldridge and Alan Kennedy are legends at Anfield and now the superheroes of yonder years are lighting up the world of walking football. Lagos Strollers recently staged their first International Walking Football Festival at the Clube Desportivo de Odiáxere and the Liverpool duo were part of the Celtic Reds 50+ squad who competed against teams from Spain, Scotland and the Algarve.
European Cup hero Alan Kennedy has been playing walking football twice a week on Merseyside for the past two years. He said: “It gets me out of my comfort zone.
Instead of having an extra cup of tea in the morning, I’m meeting people, talking to people, finding out about people and it has been very rewarding for me.”
John Aldridge’s illustrious career included spells at Liverpool and Real Sociedad as well as representing the Irish Republic in 69 internationals and scoring 19 goals.
The excellent Lagos Tournament resulted in East Algarve Walking Football (EAWF) Olhão winning the 50+ section, with Esquina Park Rangers, Costa Cálida, Murcia (Spain) taking the runners-up spot. The Celtic Reds with Alan Kennedy and John Aldridge took third place.
Other positions were: (fourth) EAWF Tavira; (fifth) Walking Football Spain (Marbella) and (sixth) EAWF São Brás.
In the 60+ section, the first day’s results were expunged as a team from Vilamoura were found to have fielded three underage players. The second day saw the delighted Geri-Atricks of Argyll (Scotland) win on goal difference from Browns (Algarve), with EAWF Olhão in third place. Other positions: (fourth) Lagos Tigers; (fifth) Lagos Oranges and (sixth) EAWF Tavira.
The final words go to Alan Kennedy: “The point about walking football is it brings people together and sometimes football can be secondary. It gets people out of their homes and that’s the same for former players, too. It keeps me agile and keeps me going. I’ve just had my 65th birthday, but I don’t feel that old. I am trying to get more people involved.”
By CHRIS WRIGHT