By Dan Rawley
A 15-hour walking football match is to be held at Hillsborough Leisure Centre next month to raise money for charity.
The marathon match, organised by former Premier League referee Uriah Rennie, will see players from local walking football teams join forces to play through the night on Friday June 10.
Players taking part will raise money for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity and St Luke’s Hospice, where Rennie is a patron, through sponsorship forms. The game is billed as “Uri’s All-night Walking Football Spectacular”.
One of the local walking football teams taking part is the Richmond Rockets, organised by Barbara Morris, the chair of the Friends of Richmond Park community group.
Walking football is a slowed-down version of the sport where players are forbidden to run. It has proved popular with older people who still want to play and keep fit but cannot keep up with the pace of the normal game.
“It’s really good for older people,” says Mrs Morris. “We’ve had a fella of 83 playing!”
“It’s really taken off across Sheffield, walking football,” she said. “If people are unemployed, it’s giving them something to do.”
This will be the second year the 15-hour match has been held. Last year’s game, which was “only” 12 hours, raised over £3,500 for charity. The players then were a diverse group including members of the Richmond Rockets and some of Sheffield’s biggest names, such as former boxer Johnny Nelson, musician Paul Pashley and local artist Pete McKee.
Kick-off is at 9pm on the Friday, and the final whistle won’t be blown until noon the following day.
Watch Barbara talk about the charity match and the progress of walking football in Sheffield below: