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European success for Leyton Orient’s Walking Football team at The European Legends Walking Football Festival

PUBLISHED: 13:00 26 September 2017

The Leyton Orient Walking Football team celebrate after finishing third at the European Legends Walking Football Festival (pic: Trevor Ridley).

The Leyton Orient Walking Football team celebrate after finishing third at the European Legends Walking Football Festival (pic: Trevor Ridley).

Archant

Captain Tony Wahlhaus full of praise for David Mooney, George Elokobi and Kent Teague for their social media messages of support

A team of walking footballers from Leyton Orient finished third in a European event last week, beating the side representing Spurs in the third/fourth-place play-off.

The European Legends Walking Football Festival was held over three days in Holland from Monday September 18 to Wednesday September 20.

It welcomed 21 teams from across Europe, including three sides from London, and matches were held at the iconic Dutch sporting Centre Papendal, home of the Dutch Olympic athletes and Vitesse Arnhem.

The Leyton Orient Walking Footballers are the first to represent Leyton Orient in this sport at European level.

The team is made up of 12 players from Leyton and its surrounding areas with the average age of the team 64, with the eldest player 77.

The group met as part of the Walking Football sessions run by the Leyton Orient Trust and in addition to the weekly inclusive sessions being run by the Trust, they wanted to play more competitive matches so they decided to set up the Leyton Orient Walking Football Club in late 2016.

The team have support from Leyton Orient FC, who generously donated this season’s kit and during the tournament, the side received many messages of support on social media from club players and staff.

Len Cheston, Chair of the Leyton Orient Walking Football Club, said: “We’re extremely grateful to the club for providing this kit for the tournament and look forward to wearing this with pride over the coming season.”

Captain, Tony Wahlhaus said: “Leyton Orient were thrilled to take part in this hugely prestigious European Legends Festival, and we are so proud of our achievement.

“All the team played incredibly well against some tough competition. The encouragement from players David Mooney, George Elokobi and vice-chairman Kent Teague boosted us all and this is Orient’s first venture into Europe!”

For those over 50 years old, who are interested in finding out more information about playing walking football, the Leyton Orient Trust runs sessions on Tuesday’s, Thursday’s and Friday’s at the SCORE Centre.

Please visit www.leytonorienttrust.org.uk/walkingfootball/ for more information on how to get involved.

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