The chance to lace up his boots and get onto the pitch has brought a new lease of life to Dave Richardson as he helped take part in a new walking football initiative.

The 72-year-old took up the sport three years ago with Uxbridge Amblers and has loved every moment of being part of a team again.

Richardson, along with his teammates, took part in a five-a-side walking football match to help launch a new scheme by London Football Association and PlayFootball which aims to get the older generation playing the beautiful game across the capital.

The initiative will provide 21 walking football sessions a week across London in a bid to enrich the lives of the older generation both physically and mentally.

Watched on by former professional Paul Mortimer, Richardson admits he has relished the feeling of putting his boots on once more.

He said: “It’s a great feeling to get back into the game and put your boots on again.

“I’ve been playing since Uxbridge Amblers were founded. I really enjoy it and I love playing football. At my age I didn’t think I’d have the chance to play football again.

“It’s a good hour’s exercise with a good bunch of lads. You’re moving around all the time and you have to think on the pitch so it gets you mind moving and your body.

“The good thing about walking football is that you’re always in the game – it is proper football. It is super competitive and physical on the body.”

Teammate, Jim Rankin, is relishing the camaraderie within the squad and believes walking football has reconnected him with old friends.

The 57-year-old, from Uxbridge, said: “I’ve been there six months and I thoroughly enjoy it. I was playing golf but when I saw walking football I thought I would have a go at that. I looked it up and went down on the Friday night to take part and I haven’t looked back.

“You can have such a laugh with it and I’m meeting up with guys who I haven’t played football with for 30 odd years. It brings people back together. People should give it a go because it’s such a good laugh. It’s a great chance to get back into football and help people find their confidence.”

To enrich the lives of older people living in London through sport, the London Football Association (LFA), in partnership with PlayFootball, is launching walking football sessions across the capital to attract a diverse range of participants who might have given up all dreams of playing football. For more information, go to