What do Premier League champions Manchester City and Troon Football Club have in common?

Both of their walking football clubs had 50 signed up players, until Troon AFC Walking Football recently welcomed its 51st playing member, putting it ahead of its far more illustrious and well known counterpart.

This is even more noteworthy when you consider that the club was only established last autumn.

On its first session four players turned up willing to give this new and increasingly popular game a go. Now over 50 players have signed on, with weekly sessions regularly numbering 20 or over.

Walking football is a variant of association football but is a slower and calmer version of the game aimed at helping and encouraging people aged 50 + to stay mobile and active.

Though based on association football, the key differences are in the rules. No running and minimal contact. No heavy tackles helps to prevent and avoid injuries whilst also helping to facilitate the playing of the sport by those who are physically disadvantaged.

A club survey showed that 100% of players enjoyed playing the game and had made new friends while 86% of those surveyed had felt their health had improved since they started playing.

The club has grown quickly and has big plans for the future. As well as increasing its membership to make it one of the most popular clubs in England, one of its players gained an international cap for Wales in a game against England at St George’s Park.

Players ages at the club range from 50-80+ and all abilities are welcome. There are opportunities to play just in training, in friendlies against other nearby clubs and tournaments and festivals.

Troon got their first taste of tournament action in a walking football tournament organised by the Cornwall FA on Sunday, July 7 at Hayle FC.

Two Troon teams took part, with the Troon Trojans won their group being undefeated in their five games, with three wins and two draws, before being eliminated by Newquay in the semi-finals

As the club continues to grow it is actively seeking partners and sponsors from local businesses and organisations to further promote and develop its work.

For more information call Chris Jones on 07545220728, email afctroonwalkingfootball@gmail.com, or check out their Facebook page Troonafcwalkingfootbal.