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SUNDAY LEAGUE DEBUT ON 80TH BIRTHDAY

  • 12/05/21
  • By Sal Habib
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HISTORY-MAKING JOHN WOOTTON SUPPORTED BY SON JONNY (R) & GRANDSON MATTY (L) IN THE W& DSFL.

JOHN WOOTTON (80), LIVED HIS DREAM BY BECOMING THE OLDEST PLAYER IN THE "WAKEFIELD & DISTRICT SUNDAY FOOTBALL LEAGUE" TO PLAY COMPETITIVE FOOTBALL FOR "COLLEGE FC" ON SUNDAY 9TH MAY 2021

HEMSWORTH BORN & A RETIRED COUNCIL WORKER, JOHN WOOTTON SUCCUMBED TO THE WISHES OF HIS SON JONNY (MANAGER OF COLLEGE FC) & GRANDSON MATTY (PLAYER OF COLLEGE FC) TO LACE HIS FOOTBALLING BOOTS FOR THE FINAL TIME WITH GUARANTEED GAME TIME TO MARK HIS MILESTONE 80TH BIRTHDAY INTO A FAMILY SPORTING AFFAIR.

JOHN, A LOYAL BARNSLEY FC SUPPORTER, HAS KEPT HIMSELF ACTIVE SINCE HIS YOUTHFUL DAYS WHEN HIS FOOTBALLING ABILITY SAW HIM CALLED-UP FOR TRIALS FOR WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERS.

ALSO KEEPING TABS ON HIS FOOTBALLING PROMINENCE WERE ROTHERHAM UNITED WHO ALSO REGISTERED INTEREST OF SIGNING JOHN DESPITE AT THE TENDER AGE OF 37.

HOWEVER, WITH LACK OF MONEY IN THE FOOTBALLING WORLD DURING THAT ERA, HIS FAMILY FELT THAT A LONG-TERM JOB PROSPECT WAS APPROPRIATE WHICH SAW JOHN TAKE UP A HEATING ENGINEERING APPRENTICESHIP.

HIS LAST FOOTBALL GAME AS AN AMATEUR PLAYER IN THE LOCAL LEAGUE'S WAS OVER FOUR DECADES AGO. HE BECAME A LIFE-LONG MEMBER OF THE WAKEFIELD HARRIERS & ENJOYED RUNNING. JOHN'S OTHER SPORTING MILESTONES SAW HIM CROWNED THE YORKSHIRE ATHLETIC CHAMPION IN THE OVER 50'S IN THE 800 METERS & 1500 METERS.

JOHN ALSO DEDICATED HIS TIME TO ATHLETICS AT A NATIONAL LEVEL AS A COACH OF ENGLAND & GERAT BRITAIN TEAMS WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY OF COACHING ATHLETES WITH LEARNING DIFFICULTIES & SUPPORTING THE TEAM HOME & ALL OVER THE WORLD.

BACK TO THE SUNDAY LEAGUE DEBUT AT 80 YEARS OF AGE, JOHN MADE HISTORY IN WEST YORKSHIRE WHEN HE WAS INTRODUCED ON THE FIELD OF PLAY AS A LATE SUBSTITUTE IN THE 83TH MINUTE FOR "COLLEGE FC" IN THEIR HOME INTER-LEAGUE COMPETITION'S LAST GAME OF THE SEASON AGAINST KIRKLAND'S RESERVES & HELPED HIS SIDE TO A LATE 3-2 SUCCESS ALBEIT A CALF STRAIN AT FULL-BACK IN THE LAST MINUTE OF THE MATCH SAW HIM LEAVE THE FIELD OF PLAY WITH BOTH TEAMS & THE FAMILY- FRIENDLY SPECTATORS GIVING JOHN A ROUND OF APPLAUSE.

THERE WAS A HUGE INTEREST LOCALLY, REGIONALLY & NATIONALLY FROM THE MEDIA. THE WAKEFIELD EXPRESS, YORKSHIRE EVENING POST, DAILY MIRROR, DAILY EXPRESS & DAILY STAR NEWSPAPERS CAPTURED THIS MOMENTOUS OCCASION IN THEIR NEWS ITEM.

THERE WAS NO REST FOR JOHN’S FREE TIME AS HE WAS PENCILLED IN FOR INTERVIEWS ON TALK SPORTS AND RADIO LEEDS PROGRAMMES. HE HISTORY MAKING EVENT WAS ALSO FEATURED ON YTV CALENDAR NEWS.

WONDERFUL GENTLEMAN, WONDERFUL SPORTING FAMILY WHO MADE HIS 80TH BIRTHDAY A DAY TO REMEMBER.
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PLEASE NOTE:

THERE IS NO AGE LIMIT IN OPEN-AGE ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL. (AGE 16 PLUS).

PLAYERS CAN PLAY AS LONG AS THEY ARE BOTH MENTALLY & PHYSICALLY UP TO IT.
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