Walking football is giving the older generation in Clydebank a new lease of life.

The popularity of the sport has grown hugely since a local team was started in 2015, and there has now been calls for the name to change as it is played at a faster pace than many people actually walk.

It was almost four years ago that Les Austin and two others went down to the local college to start a walking football club.

In the beginning, numbers were low, however, after the word spread the club started to grow and they now have 50 members on their teamsheet, which is an excellent achievement.

John Girvan, 70, of Faifley, joined a few weeks after the club was started when one of his pals phoned him up and told him to come down and see what he thought.

He said: “At first it was difficult I could feel the pain in my joints and muscles, but after a few weeks I eased up, I felt fitter, and I could walk faster, and for longer as well as being able to walk faster too.”

Being involved in football for his entire life, John was overjoyed to get back to playing again after years of coaching the Gavinburn Primary School football team, as well as being a keen Bankies supporter.

One of the newer members, Bernard McNulty from Duntocher, saw an advert in the Clydebank Post and this encouraged him to get involved as he has always had a passion for football and believed it was a good way to get involved with it again.

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Being a regular swimmer over the last few years, he is now in a routine of playing twice a week and going for a swim afterwards. As a result of this his general health has improved as well as helping him lose weight.

The health benefits are there for everyone to see as all the players feel sharper physically and also mentally. Additionally, there is a social benefit as it gets them out and about and meeting new people or reconnecting with players that they played with 40 years ago at boys’ clubs or even at amateur level.

Now Les is hoping to get a squad together that could compete in a walking football league.

After doing some research, Les found out there was a walking football tournament in Santa Ponsa, Majorca, and packed his bags.

When he arrived, he saw former England international Chris Waddle playing for one of the teams.

Les added: “If it’s good enough for him to play then it’s good enough for us.”