Britain’s oldest footballer is now playing with grandsons of his old team-mates
Britain's oldest footballer is now playing with the grandchildren of his team-mates from the first side he played for during the 1970s.
88-year-old Welsh goalkeeper Alan Camsell did not start playing football until he was 40 but almost five decades later he still plays once a week.
Camsell plays in goal for Penrhyn Bay Strollers FC, a walking football team based in Llandudno that are members of the Wales Walking Football Federation.
He is three years older than Britain's most senior outfield player, 85-year-old Dickie Borthwick, who was playing in Dorset for AFC Wyke Smugglers prior to the first lockdown last year.
Speaking to the BBC, Camsell said: “I can feel my heart pounding and my breathing going and I know it’s doing me good.
“I’m still here, 88 and still enjoying it. I didn’t start ‘til I was 40. You know, when I started, I was fast enough to score goals.
“But as you get older, you get out of breath and you go back in goal for a breather, and the breathers lasted longer and longer until I stayed there."
As he has slowly moved deeper and deeper down the pitch, Camsell has also seen his team-mates change and says he has now played with the grandsons of some of his former team-mates.
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“I started with a team of men and over the years they either moved on or left or got too old, and it was their sons, then it was their grandsons.
“And eventually I was playing with youngsters of 30 and I was 80. When we came back after lockdown there was a 25-year-old gap between us.
Despite his age, Camsell does not let soreness or letting in goals bother him.
"I'm rather sore on a Saturday, but on a Friday I enjoy it pretty much.," he revealed.
“I used to think I was doing well, but lately I’ve realised I’m getting a bit slow. The ball is past me when I’m still diving. So what? It’s only fun.”
Camsell's place as Britain's oldest player looks safe for a few years to come with his nearest challenger Borthwick being sidelined for two years with a back injury.
Prior to his injury, 85-year-old Borthwick featured in Sunday league matches in Dorset, playing for Portland Town FC and AFC Wyke Smugglers in recent years.
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