I am Terry Buck, Chairman of Chelmsford City Walking Football, below is a history of our club.
In my late 40’s I started playing 5-a-side with a bunch of my mates and played for about 10 years. I finally gave it up one day and I quote. “I can’t do this any longer as I can’t run anymore”. But I missed football.
In June 2012 I saw BBC’s Mike Bushell’s Saturday morning sporting clip demonstrating Walking Football.
I immediately went on the internet to look for something in my area and found that a test session was starting at our local park the following August. It was initiated by Chelmsford City Council for people 50 years or older and was being run by a City councillor. I was at the first game and I had just turned 60 years of age. It was in the MUGA in Central Park on a Tuesday morning.
We continued in the park for about 6 months, but we struggled with enough players, we had a few ladies at the beginning, but they stopped coming soon after we got soaked in the rain!! In 2013 we moved to the Chelmsford sports and leisure centre where we played indoors.
Our group did not take off properly until the first Barclays bank advert appeared on ITV in August 2014 which showed this new sport. It was all about digital eagles getting on-line and showed a very slow type of walking football. Suddenly we had 25+ players.
Our first walking football tournament organised by the FA was held on Thursday 11th September 2014 at Chelmsford Sports & Athletics Centre, Chelmsford. We hope to be involved in many more in the future
We played in some competitions and did quite well. We played in the Walking Football United (WFU) national tournament, where we were Essex champions for 2014. To be honest we were the only team in Essex at the time! We played Wimbledon and Folkstone in the south east playoff and came second. You will all recognise 7 of us here.
Chelmsford Walking Football team is featured in the Essex Chronicle with a full page spread, October 23rd edition which is online below. Video highlight of the team in action are Now Online
In 2015 we became sponsored by Chelmsford City FC and were given a set of the previous year’s reserve team shirts, we added Walking Football to the badge, a blue and white kit with red socks. We wore them with pride. In 2015 we became Essex champions again, this time fair and square by winning our county group in WFU national tournament, we played against 4 other teams from the county.
John Stratton from CWF was interviewed by Dave Monk on BBC Essex, hear what John had to say on the benefits of walking football
We then got a proper set of first team claret shirts and below is a photo of us being presented with them by the Chelmsford City FC director of football Russ Frazer. Chelmsford City Walking Football organised a mini tournament at the Chelmsford City FC Fun Day at Melbourne Stadium on Sunday 26th July 2015 and were presented with our new kit. There was also a bouncy castle, face painting, balloon making and mini beer festival which was very popular! Entry was free but numbers were low due to rain
We as Chelmsford City WFC have entered an International Walking Football event in Almelo Netherlands three times, improving our performance, year on year. At the first International we attended there were 24 European teams, this has now gown to 32 teams. I believe this was the first International Walking Football tournament in Europe, or even the world.
The event is centred around the Hercules Stadium in Almelo, where teams compete for the Almelo City Cup, pride for their country but especially their club.
We took 12 players as above to the first Almelo tournament in 2016. It was 6 a side without goalkeepers. And to the surprise of everyone in the first match we actually changed the whole team at half time!!
Chelmsford City Walking Football arranged the first ever Essex Walking Football League Tournament on the 30th October 2016 at Melbourne Park and were joint winners with Shooters, North Weald and went on to play in the next round. It was a wonderfully sunny day with three pitches, 15 min matches being played simultaneously for two and a half hours. All of the team felt the first event was very successful with many family supporters.
Walking Football National Tournament – South East Zone Finals was held on Sunday afternoon 23rd August 2017 at Uxbridge Amblers Walking Football Club in the Southern Regional Finals of the National Tournament. Many of the players from Uxbridge and Chelmsford also appeared in a football film still to be released to the world
I am also the Chairman and Fixture secretary of the Essex Walking Football League. In the league we are striving to be the best FA affiliated league in the country. In 2018 our 60+ team were champions against 11 other teams in the county.
We have a 7-man committee that work very hard at keeping the club ticking over for all the players. Our latest venture is to provide what we call recreational Walking Football. This will be for recovering and new players, or anyone wanting to just kick a ball about to keep fit.
Let’s hope we can all do it for years to come.
Chelmsford City Walking Football