Weston’s Ward sees England Over-70s to walking football glory on managerial debut

PUBLISHED: 14:00 08 November 2019

England over 70s and Wales over 70s at Merthyr's Penydarren Park.

England over 70s and Wales over 70s at Merthyr's Penydarren Park.

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England Over-70s walking football manager Danny Ward called winning the Yorkshire Rose Cup at the weekend the ‘best achievement’ of his life, writes Josh Thomas.

England over 70s and Wales over 70s at Merthyr's Penydarren Park.England over 70s and Wales over 70s at Merthyr's Penydarren Park.

Allan Macleod scored the winner against their Wales rivals moments before half time from a Bill Cave corner.

And Weston's Ward was pleased to see his side claim victory in their first-ever international.

"It's probably the best achievement I've done in my life so far," he said after the game at The Met Coaches Stadium.

"It's a big thing for me, I'm 70 years of age and I thought I would never get another chance. I took the job, worked hard and the hard work has paid off.

England over 70s and Wales over 70s at Merthyr's Penydarren Park.England over 70s and Wales over 70s at Merthyr's Penydarren Park.

"It was a great win. Our first trophy and all the lads have won their England caps in the first international. It's brilliant."

Ward was full of praise for the character of his side after he lost McLeod and Cave to the sin bin early into the second half.

"We went down through people running and getting sent off for two minutes," he added.

"We were down to four men and they held on for those couple of minutes. The two players came back and we got it back together and our shape together.

England over 70s and Wales over 70s at Merthyr's Penydarren Park.England over 70s and Wales over 70s at Merthyr's Penydarren Park.

"Defensively I thought we were brilliant in the second half.

"The main thing I'm pleased about is we didn't concede a goal, I'm very happy with that."

And Ward was delighted to pick up the trophy, which was named after referee Alan Rose.

"Unbelievable," he added. "The relief is more than anything.

"I was a bit worried coming over and now I know how all these top managers must feel.

"They're worried men, I'm sure, they are like me. Being in a big team and big set-up like this, is a worry being a manager.

"Especially the first game, everyone is looking at you and if I lost this game they think 'he is no good'.

"Lots of people were sending me good luck messages and I thought 'I can't let these people down'.

"I thought in the first quarter we would let them down, but we came away with a win away from home in the first game.

"I'm very pleased with my first game as a win for England in my first game as the manager, I am a very happy man.

"It's a great start to my managerial career."


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