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Havant and Waterlooville Over 50’s Walking Football

The Hawks’ 50+ walking football team, known as the Many Shades of Grey, have been a part of the Hawks in the Community family since September 2014.

Participation has grown from a tentative group of four at the first session to an average of over twenty joining in across each of the three sessions we hold each week, and an incredible ninety-five people have registered as players over those five years.

The Many Shades have thrived as a supportive and friendly group, welcoming people of all backgrounds and abilities. While like any competitors in any sport we like to win, we have always believed that giving people the chance to take part is the most important aspect of our existence. We also take player wellbeing very seriously, and play 3-touch football to minimisethe risk of physical contact. It’s inevitable that players do occasionally get injured throughtrying to re-live their long-since passed youth, and we are privileged that the Hawks’ incredibly experienced and knowledgeable physio Phil Ashwell can be approached for consultation.

By the end of the 2018-19 season, we had managed to give Many Shades competitive debuts to no less than 74 players. All of the matches we play in are for specific age groups, ranging from 50+ through to 70+. Although our attendance at festivals, tournaments, leagues, and other assorted friendlies is arranged outside of the HitC remit, we are proud to represent the club, wearing the badge with dignity and giving it the respect it deserves.

The Many Shades have enjoyed some success in tournaments, including winning in France in 2016, at Fratton Park in 2018, and being crowned the inaugural Solent League Champions in 2018. Along with these on-field honours, we have twice been awarded Hampshire FA“Walking Football Team of the Year” (2016 & 2018), as well as National League Trust “Best Project for Older People” (2016 & 2018), and were named Havant Borough Sports Association“Senior Team of the Year” at their 2019 Awards night.

The Many Shades of Grey hold their sessions on Mondays and Thursdays at Havant & SouthDowns College 3G pitch at Crookhorn (opposite the main entrance), and these “run” from11am until noon, costing £3 per person. Afterwards we retire to the main bar at theWestleigh for tea/coffee and biscuits and cake to undo any good the exercise may have just done. On Monday evenings we hold a session for the workers of this world, from 7.30pm until 9.00pm at Warblington School; this longer session costs £4 per person. There are no sessions on Bank Holidays.

If you are physically able to kick a ball, and aged fifty or over, and possess a sense of humour,feel free to come and join us. If you can’t do that, why not support us through the Havant Borough Lottery? As well as supporting us, you could win yourself £25,000. Just go to our page at https://www.havantlottery.co.uk/support/the-many-shades-of-grey

A few of our all-time records…

Record victory: vs Bognor Regis Boulders 10 – 0
Record defeat: vs Uxbridge 8 – 1, vs Eastleigh 7 – 0.
Highest scoring match: Many Shades 11 vs Weston-S-Mare Seagulls 8
Record attendance: Weston-S-Mare Seagulls 1 vs Many Shades 0 (half-time exhibition) 467 Most appearances: Pete Dolamore 271
Most goals: Rich Bishop 77

Highest amount raised for charity in one Festival: £1833.00