A MAN from Mappleborough Green has reached the Walking Football World Cup final for the second year running.
John Crampton, aged 70, will be representing England when his 5-aside team, based in Birmingham, face Holland at Bristol University on May 12.
He’ll be joined by two brothers, Derek and Malcolm Thorp, both from Redditch who also played in last year’s final.
Back then the team won the Cup after beating Wales with an impressive 4-0 win in the final.
John said: “As a youngster I always dreamed of playing for England and now at 70, I’ve found myself in the second final in two years.”
Initially John was encouraged by his son Ian to get involved in the sport, after he thought it would be a good idea for his dad to stay active as he recovered from prostate cancer.
John said: “I am so excited to be representing my country again, it’s helped massively since having my prostate removed in 2015.
“I play for my team three times a week and have lost more than two stone since I started, It’s crazy the results it can have.
“Walking football is a growing sport and I have a good feeling it will become incredibly popular in the future.”
The final is in Bristol this coming weekend and the England squad are hoping they can show the professionals playing in Russia how to clinch a major trophy.
John’s proud wife Sue said: “It’s fantastic what they do and to be in a World Cup final at their age is just magnificent.”
Walking football more closely resembles the five-a-side than 11-a-side game and was invented to inspire men over 50 to get more exercise and counter social isolation, and now thousands are rediscovering the joys of football by playing it at a slightly more leisurely pace.
Visit http://walkingfootballbirmingham.co.uk/ to find out more.