Walking Football in the Algarve has attracted much attention since its inception in Olhão some five years ago. Hundreds of players, mostly over the age of 50, have girded their loins and strapped up their joints as they prepared for their weekly sessions in Tavira, Olhão, Vilamoura and Lagos.
From time-to-time, well known faces have donned their trainers and joined in the fun including Tommy Charlton, younger brother of England legends Jack and Sir Bobby, and more recently comedian Jason Manford.
A regular player is former FA Cup Final winning captain Brian Kilcline who led Coventry to victory against Spurs in 1987
Last week was another first for East Algarve Walking Football as Newcastle United’s international star Jonjo Shelvey was welcomed to show his Premier League skills at the José Arcanjo Stadium in Olhão.
England international Jonjo began his career at Charlton Athletic, becoming their youngest-ever player at 16 years and 59 days old. In 2010, he moved to Liverpool for £1.7 million where he was part of a Liverpool squad which won the League Cup and lost the FA Cup final in 2012. Three years ago, he was transferred from Swansea to Newcastle for £12 million where he has made over 100 league appearances.
By CHRIS WRIGHT
Photo: Jonjo Shelvey, third from right front row, and Brian Kilcline, centre back row