Denton walks on at Whittle’s as part of centenary celebrations

DENTON became football central for a day – at a slower pace.

For Denton Town kicked off their centenary celebrations by hosting a walking football festival.

People looking to take up the beautiful game without having to run descended on the Whittle’s Farm ground to take part in a tournament on Saturday, June 29.

Town’s veterans side had two teams, the managers and officials made up another while visiting side Manchester Corinthians also brought two teams to the fundraiser for the club.

And as one onlooker said: “It’s harder than it looks!”

Denton is the centre of the area’s walking football participation, with the Tameside Striders leading the way.

And they have reason to celebrate after a new surface was laid at its King Street base.

The new pitch was installed in June by Denton Youth FC and if it is good enough for Arsenal and Scottish giants Celtic, it is good enough for them as the material used is exactly the same.

As preparations are being put in place to welcome the new pitch and prepare for the upcoming season, new footballs have been sourced but the club is still looking for sponsorship so it can install a new bench.

Four members have also taken the first step to crossing the divide between being a player and a referee by attending a referee’s course at Heywood.

And Alan Richards from the Striders made sure the Football Association knew what he thought about certain points.

He said: “I think all of our group – experienced and semi-experienced – got something from the day, both in the classroom and practical.

“A couple of points I raised with the FA rep – who came up from Bristol – gave him food for thought and he seemed receptive.

“Of course, we will continue to employ some local rules but this kind of get together can only assist in growing confidence and in developing skills and judgement required for a difficult role.

“It was a gateway rather than a destination but I’m pleased I went along.”

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