The FA People's Cup

Birmingham Walking FC aiming for FA People's Cup title in 2018

After a couple of near misses in the past, Paul Murtagh says Birmingham Walking FC are looking for FA People's Cup glory in 2018

Tuesday 20 Feb 2018
Birmingham Walking Football FC at St. George's Park ahead of the FA People's Cup 2018

We want to win the People’s Cup this year.

For three years, we’ve got to the final and lost. We’ve had last-minute goals against us, penalty shoot-out defeats and matches which we should’ve won.

The FA People's Cup 2018
  • First Round: 23-25 February (regional)
  • Semi-Finals: 24-25 March (regional)
  • The Final: 28-29 April (St. George's Park)

But we love it, we think it’s a great competition and concept and that’s why we’re here again for this year’s competition with one aim and one aim only.

It really brings the game of walking football to life. The sport is still developing really and it’s just three and a half years ago when I first saw the Barclays adverts featuring walking football.

I laughed at first and was waiting for the joke at the end of it, but then I quickly realised it wasn’t.

I’d just taken on a sports club which was ailing and we had quite a few older people playing tennis and other things, but I just thought it would be amazing for the older groups and we trialled it.

Birmingham WFC are expecting a tough challenge in this year's People's Cup


When we contacted the local County FA, they helped us get it off the ground and we had 16 people at our first session.

Now, we have 430 players who are involved at 18 sessions throughout the week at our centre in Hall Green and we now have another centre in Solihull.

We have over 40s, 50s, 60s , 65s, 70s and ladies teams, which is a lot of people who wouldn’t previously have been playing football of any form.

It gives those people a chance and there’s no need to stop playing football now. If you loved playing when you were younger but feel as though you couldn’t contribute anymore, you now get another option to play again and it can be really powerful in many ways.

Not just in physical terms either, there’s the increase in spacial awareness and balance in older people and keeping the brain active, but it’s about feeling wanted again too.

Those days when you grew up as a kid and being part of a team, you suddenly get a taste of that again and it can do wonders for your self-esteem.

I could talk all day about the positives of walking football and I’d recommend it to anybody over 40.

But for now, we’re fully focused on the People’s Cup. We know there will be some tough opposition but we’ll be ready to go…

Paul Murtagh (second from left, back row), writes for ahead of the People's Cup first round

The first round of the FA People’s Cup takes place across England this weekend! 

Are you interested in participating in Walking Football? If so, then you can find out where your nearest centre is via your local County FA. Find out more on how to contact them here.

By FA Staff