Veteran footballers take to the pitch for charity tournament

One of the largest sports clubs of its kind in the UK played host to a five-a-side tournament with a difference for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).

Norwich SOCA Seniors offers walking football – a slower-paced version of the beautiful game aimed at the more mature participant – to some 80 players aged 50 and over.

Its tournament last month took place at the Norfolk FA Football Development Centre (FDC) in Bowthorpe. There were two categories, one for over 50s and another for over 65s.

A raffle was also held, with first prize £250 worth of vouchers to use on sports gear from tournament sponsor 4sports.

The event raised a fantastic £1,562.09, that will help EACH continue providing its vital service caring for children and young people with life-threatening conditions and supporting their families.

Geoff Brown from the club said: “Everyone had a great day and we’d like to say a massive thank you to Gary Cockaday for gifting the venue along with the main raffle prize, trophies and medals, our secretary Chris Rackham who deals with pretty much everything and donated a prize of £50, as well as Rob Watts and, of course, all the teams that took part.

“We all realise how fortunate we are to be in our 60s and 70s and still capable of playing football twice a week for a couple of hours, and it seemed obvious we should be helping children and their families through the work done by EACH.”

Cheri Playne, EACH Norfolk Community Fundraiser, said: “I know a lot of hard work went into making this tournament a success, so a huge thank you to everyone involved and of course those who took part. This will give us a nice boost and we’d like to wish Norwich SOCA Seniors all the best as the club continues to grow!”

Norwich SOCA Seniors was established in the winter of the 2014/15 season and competes in tournaments across the country. It has also featured twice in the European Masters championship in Italy, where its over 65s have triumphed.

For more information email Chris Rackham at chris@walkingfootballnorwich.co.uk or Geoff Brown at geoff.t.brown@hotmail.co.uk.

For more on EACH and how to support the good cause go to www.each.org.uk.

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