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At a time when PM Boris is struggling with his European agenda, captain Anderson from the Lochgilphead Walking Football Club had no such difficulties.
Faced with taking his team into Europe for the first time to participate in the inaugural Lagos Strollers European Cup, Anderson and his Jerry Hatricks outfit saw off opposition from Portugal, Spain and England to deliver Scotland’s first European football trophy since Aberdeen in 1983.
It didn’t start off well for the captain. With Mondays five matches delivering only one win it was a rather downbeat team who gathered for the team meeting that night.
Stuart ‘The Forest’ Johnston couldn’t see the wood for the trees, The Sneddon couldn’t see the goal for the hanky protecting his head from the sun, Iain ‘Caravan’ MacDonald was thinking too much about camper vans, whilst Tom ‘The Gin’ Kilcolm didn’t live up to his name and went nearly tea total.
Captain Anderson though delivered when it mattered. With Colin ‘The Cat’ in goal, Sneddon was deployed at the back alongside. MacDonald, Johnston and Kilcolm were pushed further forward with the captain and ‘The Scribe’ Litster in midfield. As Dinah Washington once sang, what a difference a day makes.
In their first game on Tuesday the Jerry Hatricks won 3-0. Goals from Johnston, Anderson and Litster gave a renewed sense of hope.
The second match v Algarve Tavira though was all about the captain. A fabulous five goal haul and a carpet burn saw them run out 7-0 winners.
Match three versus Browns from Vilamoura was always going to be a tough test and thanks to a fantastic rearguard action from Sneddon and MacDonald, allied to goals from Litster and Johnston, Jerry Hatricks came out 2-1 victors.
Knowing that victory in the penultimate match against the Lagos Tigers would all but see them through it was left to Kilcolm to make his mark. A fantastic solo effort in a 4-0 win capped a great team performance. Tom would have run around with the customary shirt over the head celebration, however he found the snug fit just too much to pull over his head.
By the time the final game took place the team had both done enough and run out of steam. Victory was secured and Captain Anderson’s coat was no longer on that shoogly peg.
Ex Liverpool legends John Aldridge and Alan Kennedy were on hand to present the trophy. Thanks were extended at the after match banquet to the organisers, Lagos Strollers Walking Football Club for an excellent tournament and to all the players for their sporting attitude throughout the matches.
Remember Lochgilphead walking football takes place every Tuesday at the sports centre, 5.30-6.30pm. Come along, it’s open to ladies and gents, you never know, it could be you on that next European jaunt to glory.