16 June 2021

Members of Sporting Memories Clubs, from Salford, Sale West and Lancashire Cricket Club, came together online following the suspension of in-person meetings at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. An outdoor walking football session has meant that some members have been able to meet up for the very first time.

In 2019, walking football brought together members from the three Clubs. They started playing after securing money to start the group and pay for onward costs such as the local sports hall, equipment and refreshments.

Matches were suspended in March 2020, and in June 2021 their usual venue is being used as a vaccination centre. The group have since been looking for outdoor venues and Salford City Council have offered one of their astroturf pitches

Here is a match report from Sporting Memories Club member Roy:

"On Monday I was lucky enough to see the long-awaited return of Sporting Memories walking football. And what a privilege it was to be there. A classic 5-a-side game where keepers were allowed the licence to 'break' forward and set up attacks."The first half had everything and ended all square at 2-2.

"Trevor’s team, in orange bibs, might have dominated possession but John’s team in purple bibs always had a goal threat. Steve was the scorer of two goals for the oranges and showed what a classic goal-hanging goalscorer he is but they were equalised by two good strikes from John and 'chopper' Brian.

"Steve could have had more but for classic experienced defending from Frank and Anthony. Similarly, there were missed chances at the other end with the imposing figure of Trevor blocking close range attempts.

"Only the one goal in the final 'half', which was significant because the most likely goalscorers in each side spent plenty of time as goalkeepers! The pace did drop a little in the searing heat but chances were still created at both ends. Some snatched and missed and some bringing good saves. The two most notable by John even if they could easily have resulted in fouls as the speed of his movement to block shots was hardly achieved at walking pace!

"A special mention must go to MotM Brian who not only scored the final and winning goal but also maintained his reputation as 'chopper' when 'going for the ball' in the second half, cruelly hacked down Trevor with the referee seemingly looking the other way!"

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