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Stroud’s Keith Mortimer and Cirencester’s Mike Dore make their England debuts

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Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 09:00

John Hammonds John Hammonds

Two walking footballers from Gloucestershire are celebrating after playing for England for the first time.

Keith Mortimer and Mike Dore played in the first ever over-70s walking football match and helped their country to a 2-1 win over Guernsey.

The match was played in the Channel Islands and both Mortimer, who plays for Stroud, and Dore, who plays for Cirencester, were prominent in England’s victory.

“They both did very well,” said the watching Stuart Langworthy, who is manager of England’s over-60s team.

Langworthy is also interim manager of England’s women’s walking football team and their first ever match resulted in a 2-0 win over Guernsey, a match that was also played in Guernsey.

Langworthy, meanwhile, won his first cap as a player when he went on as a late substitute for England’s over-50s against Greece in Crete last month.

“We drew 0-0, I was brought on for the last two minutes. The manager Paul Murtagh said, ‘Go and make yourself a hero!’” laughed Langworthy.

Langworthy’s over-60s team went one better than the over-50s because they defeated Greece 1-0.

Both games were played in a temporary ground on the beach at Rethymno on the north coast of Crete and a crowd of some 3,000 were there to watch them play ahead of the Leisure Leagues six-a-side World Cup final.

“John Hammonds, who plays for Stroud and also sometimes plays for Abbeymead Rovers, was in goal for the over-60s for the first half against Greece and made two outstanding saves,” said Langworthy.

Langworthy, who has been a major figure at Abbeymead Rovers for many years, was talking to The Local Answer about all things walking football from the Etihad Academy Stadium at Manchester City.

He was there to help launch next year’s inaugural Walking Football World Cup which will take place at the academy stadium at the end of May.

“The facilities are amazing,” said Langworthy."And it is great to have the full support of Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Manchester, and his team along with Greater Manchester Council, Active Ageing and the Manchester FA. With several countries already confirmed it promises to be a superb event at a superb venue. "

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