Back on the field after 40 years thanks to Walking Football

It’s been 40 years between games for Peter Youill.

He played his last game of football in the 1980s, before his daughter took to the field and he stuck to the sideline.

But now, he’s lacing the boots back up, albeit at a different pace.

“The guy that I get a haircut from, he told me about CFAC Walking Football, so I thought I’d give it a shot,” he said.

“It’s been about 40 years between games but I can still kick a ball!

“I played as a youngster and then my daughter played and I was on the committee for one of Canberra’s soccer clubs and then when she stopped, and so did I,” he said.

Out at Hawker Football Centre every Wednesday night, more than 130 people over the age of 45 get together to play friendly matches.

Games are played at either a 5v5 or 6v6 format, there’s no off-side and the ball can’t be kicked above head height.

And of course, the main rule; walk, don’t run.

“I still love the game I just didn’t know I could still participate so this is great,” Peter said.

“I was just looking for a pastime and some exercise.

“Everyone has been really welcoming, the whole process to get here has just been really easy.

“It’s great exercise for someone my age, I’m out of breath but not injured by the end of the evening.”