walking football

Walking Football Continues To Inspire

A closer look at the format of football helping to improve fitness and sociability, from those on the pitch.

It might be played at a walking pace, but it has hit the ground running 

Walking football which kicked off back in 2011, is, as the name suggests, football at a walking pace.

There are key rule changes to regular football, including:

  • if a player runs then they concede a free kick to the other side.
  • a ban on slide tackles,
  • the ball must never be kicked above hip height

You can read the full Laws of the Game on The FA Website.

Walking the Walk in Surrey

In Surrey currently, we have 28 venues that run walking football sessions, with lots of them running more than just one session per week. Want to play yourself? Find your nearest session here.

The Walking Football League run by Surrey FA has 13 teams partaking, with 120 players taking part in total – but what does this add up to for the average player?

Walking Football League organiser, Mark Blythe.


Well, for a player who plays for an hour a week for three months, they would be walking 30 miles and burning a massive 4,200 calories.

Check out the two interviews below from walking footballers in Surrey,  and discover the way the new form of the sport has helped inspire them.

Larry Dann

Larry Dann, 74 

(pictured front right)

When and how did you start playing walking football?

Some of my friends at Hampton & Richmond Football Club, where we volunteer, had started playing at Xcel Leisure Centre in Walton on Thames Surrey. They said it was great and invited me along. It was actually only week 6 of the sessions and this was in July 2014.

Were you still playing football or active at the time?                          

I hadn’t played football for a long time and did miss it, but I was waiting for knee replacements due to painful arthritis. I checked with the Doc if it was okay and he said go for it, so I was trying to wear the knees out! I had bought a golf buggy so I could still play golf as the walking had become too much for me.

How did you find the walking football?

Amazing, such fun and the game has had the opposite effect on my knees to wearing them out. I just love it, the camaraderie is excellent. I really look forward to it each week and would miss it if I couldn’t play. I have made new friends and we even meet outside the walking football sometimes too.

How much football did you play in your younger days?

I wasn’t brilliant but I loved it. I was an Actor so was very lucky to play in some charity matches at top grounds like Everton QPR, Luton and even Wembley.

Wow, what were you in?

I was Sergeant Alec Peters in The Bill for 8 great years and before that I was in some of the Carry on films, Carry on Teacher, Carry on Behind, Carry on England, etc

How would you sum up your involvement in walking football?

It’s been brilliant for my and men’s health. The chats we have about men’s issues are great and very important. In 3 words “Can’t beat it”.


Geoff Singh, 71 

(pictured back middle-right)

When and how did you start playing walking football?

I regularly played squash at Xcel Leisure Centre, Walton and I saw a flyer promoting this new activity for the over 50s on the counter. That was back in June 2014 and I joined in with the 2nd ever session being run by Surrey FA, there’s been nearly 200 now.

Were you still playing football?

I hadn’t played football since I was at School about 13 years old, just the 58ish years ago!

How did you find the walking football?

I found the walking football great fun and good exercise. I currently have arthritis in the other hip and both knees but this helps to keep the limbs active and is good fun. I have lost weight which also helps with my joints.

How would you sum up your involvement in walking football?

My involvement goes wider than just the walking football sessions. With the new friends I have met I have been out playing pool and darts and I am currently helping a couple of the guys to improve their bridge play. In three words I would say “Fun, good exercise”.