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Walking Footballers Hail ‘Memorable’ French Trip

Bristol City’s walking footballers have returned home from a ‘memorable and hugely enjoyable’ trip to Brittany, France where they took part in the first festival tournament to be held in the country.

The six-strong squad – consisting of Keith Gwilym, Alan Gardiner, Alan Jones, Chris Heaton, Ian Neilson and Tim Plummer – took on opponents from Havant & Waterlooville and the hosts, Brittany.

They were victorious in their opening fixture, beating the eventual winners Havant & Waterlooville 2-1, before going on to lose their remaining three games 1-0.

Keith Gwilym said: “We had a memorable and hugely enjoyable few days.

“There is no doubt that this will become an annual event, which will grow bigger over the years.

“The tour came about through a contact that the Havant & Waterlooville boys had with a bunch of expats in the central Brittany area, who had taken up walking football, and decided to form an Association to promote the sport locally.

“To find out some more about the UK scene, they invited H&W, and, through them, Portsmouth and ourselves to come over for a couple of days and play in a small tournament.”

Officials from the newly formed Association Bretagne de Football en Marchant, Sheelagh and Jeff Smith told The Connexion newspaper: “We are really pleased about the event. Stewart Russell from Havant & Waterlooville was extremely helpful in setting it up and the players fully enjoyed the accommodation, food and football.

“The mayor was there to present the trophies and everyone had a good time.

“Hopefully there will soon be walking football clubs close to us, so we can play on a club-to-club basis more regularly.”

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