A SOMERSET sports organisation is calling on those keen on football to come and play the beautiful game – if they are aged around 60 and more. In fact you’re never too old.

Clearly Seniors Football, now in its 11th year, is seeking new members to come along to the weekly activity and improve their health and mental wellbeing.

Stewart Collins, who runs the group for Somerset Activity and Sport Partnership (SASP) which aims to reach people not already active, said it’s all part of a drive to help older people engage in sport.

“We not only want to help people remain active as far into old age as they can, but there are also the mental health benefits of being part of a supportive tribe,” he said.

“People not only find enjoyment playing at a different pace, although it is competitive and involves running, but the chat before and after the game is every bit as important socially and mentally too.”

Clearly Seniors plays on Monday afternoons at Taunton Vale Sports Club, and is for players of around 60 upwards – as opposed to the younger group of Nearly Seniors for those of around 45 – 60, or others who migrate on to the slower pace of Walking Football.

“The oldest ever member of Clearly Seniors was 85 when he played his last game, and a number of people are in their seventies now, so the original cohort is beginning to age,” said Stewart.

“We’re keen to find more players and it’s open to anyone who’s interested. All standards and abilities are welcome, we are very inclusive.”

He said most people understood they needed to play within their limitations, and he didn’t find there were any more injuries than in ordinary football.

“It’s played in a spirit you would expect – there are no fouls or serious body contact,” he said.

People come from as far afield as Minehead and Bridgwater to take part, and the game is mostly played outside on 3G Astroturf, or indoors if the weather is bad.

Clearly Seniors, as part of SASP, is partially funded by Sport England, and the rest is funded from other health-related organisations and the participants.

The Monday session at Taunton Vale Sports Club starts at 2.30pm and costs £4.

To find out about joining, email Stewart Collins at [email protected].

Pictured, organiser Stewart Collins, front row, holding the ball, with Clearly Seniors players. They are: back row, left to right: Alan Tait, Roger Mitchinson, Jerry Palmer, Chris George, Graham Lloyd, Brian Jones and Mike Newman.

Front row, left to right: Stewart Brock, John Coram, Stewart Collins, Roger Ballantine, John Varker.