Tuesday 29th September will live long in the memory for some Pompey fans. Why you may ask. The first team went down to a 2-1 defeat to fellow League 2 side Exeter City? Well the answer lies only 4 hours earlier in the day, when 14 over 50 year olds represented Portsmouth Football Club and Pompey in the Community in a walking Football match, competing against that nights opposition fans.
It was the first time that the two sides had met in walking football terms, and it is safe to say the event was a huge success. The hardy walking footballers of Exeter City had a long way to travel for their eagerly anticipated fixture and full credit must go to them for their dedication and commitment to a sport which they truly love.
The game itself was played in really good spirits but was as would be expected a competitive encounter, as both teams were eager to prove their worth as well as show their colours with pride of their favourite team. Essentially a lot of you will be reading this article thinking, this is a great news story, ‘but what was the score!’ Well to put you out of you misery Portsmouth triumphed 4-0! If only that result had been replicated in the evening encounter amongst the professional sides.
The whole day was a fantastic event that received glowing feedback from our devonshire opponents. So much so that they have invited the Pompey in the Community team back to Devon in March for the return fixture.
As I stood there watching the games unfold, it gave me even more of an insight into a form of the game whose popularity is growing at a rate of knots, but it also gave me the opportunity to realise first hand how many different people benefit from our schemes within the community. Although there may not have been thousands watching the games played on the sunblushed pitches, the games were still played with the same amount of passion that these walking footballers demonstrate for their teams when they stand on the terraces.
It is something that I am immensely proud to be associated with and as a result it is something that once again goes onto demonstrate the passion and expertise that Pompey in the Community aim to deliver on a regular basis. You could say that as a community department, with people like this in our community appreciating what we do, we really won’t ‘walk alone!’