Redditch man named Walking Football England Parkinsons Under 55s - The Redditch Standard

Redditch man named Walking Football England Parkinsons Under 55s

Redditch Editorial 21st Oct, 2022   0

A REDDITCH man has been named Walking Football England Parkinsons Under 55s captain just months after taking up the sport.

Simon Forrest was diagnosed with Parkinson’s last March, having been symptomatic for 27 months.

The 54-year-old, also diagnosed with lymphoma in 2004, said: “I have a strong Christian faith, which has stood me in good stead for the ongoing battles with my health and for which I am totally blessed.

“There is the inclination to be more reclusive because we might find some of the symptoms embarrassing, which is totally understandable, but I believe we, as humans, are meant to enjoy each other’s company and fellowship.”

Five months ago Simon and a friend tried walking football at a Birmingham Football Centre open day in Solihull.

“I was a decent footballer in my younger years and particularly enjoyed the walking football.”

He agreed time off twice-a-week with his managing director – making up the time as necessary – so he could play walking football.

“I have a whole new group of friends and my wellbeing has improved hugely.

“The camaraderie, kindness and support I witness each week is worth more than all the pills I take.”

Simon and his newfound friends formed a team, entered a tournament at Worcester City, and won it without conceding a goal.

In July, Simon was among five players from his team to attend the Parkinson’s England trials and he was successful along with another team-mate. Both will now represent their country.

“I’m over the moon to be playing for England and to be named as captain, the best thing about it is I can help raise awareness of the benefits exercise has for people with Parkinson’s.”

He is working with Worcester City to raise awareness of working-age Parkinson’s and on developing a suitable football programme for those who cannot attend sessions during work hours.

“This is a horrible condition but there are positives to be taken from this.”

He is urging everyone to be as active as they can be, take advantage of behind the scenes work to ‘kick Parkinson’s into touch, while enjoying fun times with people who will become ‘cherished new friends’.

• Anyone wishing to sponsor the England or local programmes can call Simon on 07850 291573.


Find a career you'll love with our free career finder website.

Public Notices

View and download all of the public notices in the Redditch Standard.

Online Editions

Catch up on your local news by reading our e-editions on the Redditch Standard.


Check out the latest videos on our YouTube channel.