Walking Football Marathon for the Cambridge United Community Trust is a hit
Tom Wilkinson lived up to the billing by putting in a marathon effort for a fundraising cause on bank holiday Monday.
The 12-hour, five-a-side Walking Football Marathon was hosted on the Abbey Leisure Centre astroturf to raise money for the disability football sessions run by Phil Mullen for the Cambridge University Community Trust.
The trust organised the event, with walking football being a slower version of the normal game, making it accessible to all.
It is particularly suitable for those over 50 who are looking for exercise, and it often has the added benefit of improving mental wellbeing.
Eighty players took part in the walking football marathon, which stretched from 10am to 10pm.
Each player was assigned to one of six two-hour sessions, with roll on, roll off substitutes, and many played for 90 minutes each.
Many of the players were senior citizens but there were also some younger players, including from the disability sessions run by the club.
The stand-out player was Wilkinson, though.
The 60-year-old played for the full 12 hours and, for comfort purposes, most of this was achieved in open-toed sandals.
Organiser Nigel Hillyard said: “There was a carnival atmosphere at the leisure centre with friends and family bringing food, drink and picnic chairs to enjoy the spectacle of Walking Football.
“The match was only lightly competitive and no one recorded the score, but at the halfway stage it was blues 37, yellows 34, and probably finished up an honourable draw.”
He added: “It was a fantastic team effort on the day and we are so grateful to all players and helpers who gave up their bank holiday Monday to support the event for this worthwhile cause.”
They have a fundraising target of £15,000 and are well on the way to matching that ambition.
To make a donation visit cuctrust.enthuse.com/cf/cuct-walking-football-marathon.