Barclays Digital Eagles set up an all-star Walking Football match to help Steve Rich achieve his ambition of turning the game into a nationwide sport.
Steve, a 50 year old sports development officer from Folkestone brought together some of English football’s greatest ever strikers for a game of Walking Football thanks to Barclays Digital Eagles. Harry Kane, Alan Shearer, Sir Geoff Hurst, Fabrice Muamba, Casey Stoney and Sylvia Gore all assembled in North London to pit their wits against Steve and his footballing friends.
Walking Football is a form of the game played at a more sedate, but no less competitive pace. The game is perfect for older players and anyone who has had to stop playing regular football because of injury or other health issues.
To date there are 434 registered Walking Football clubs and the game is going from strength to strength every year.
Steve was inspired to take up Walking Football after watching a Barclays Digital Eagles TV advert that first aired in 2014. With ambitions to turn Walking Football into a nationwide game and raise awareness of the sport Steve created a website that connected teams across the country – walkingfootballunited.com
Barclays Digital Eagles, who assist people with practical advice on technology,were only too pleased to help Steve set up the match as well as helping develop his website.
Steve Rich said “To play Walking Football alongside all these legends is something I could never have dreamed of when I was setting up my website. About 20 years ago I had a nasty car accident, which meant I wasn’t able to play football any more. I was devastated.
So to start playing the game again after all those years is such a wonderful feeling, and I want to give as many people as possible the chance to share in that. Through Barclays Digital Eagles I’ve even managed to get in touch with some of my old football mates who turned up for the game. I’m very grateful that Walking Football has helped me continue my passion for the beautiful game.”
Newcastle and England legend Alan Shearer said “Walking Football is something that everyone can enjoy, irrespective of age or ability. I’m a little bit slower these days but I could still compete alongside Harry Kane and some of the younger players, which was a brilliant experience.
“Steve and Barclays have done a great job with his website, and I would encourage anyone interested in playing Walking Football to go online and check it out.”
Sara Bennison, Barclays Customer Marketing Director, Personal & Corporate Banking said “Steve really has been a great driving force behind developing Walking Football. We hope that he can quickly get 1000 teams on his website and make this a national phenomenon. We are delighted that we have been able to help.”
To find out more about Digital Eagles visit: barclays.co.uk/DigitalEagles and to register your Walking Football team visit walkingfootballunited.com