74 yr old son watched by 101 yr old father in O65s International…
In the first ever over 65s international on Thursday 6th April, England triumphed over a plucky Wales team at FAW’s Dragon Park, Newport.
FIFA referee Dermot Gallagher officiated this landmark fixture and was assisted by Lee A Evans(Rhondda Referees Society) and Graham Evans in what was a highly competitive, but friendly match, demonstrated when England’s 74 year old John Shannon and his 101 year old father started proceedings!
Wales had the better of the first half with Hold, Jones, Brustad, Williams and Burt prominent, but with the outstanding Rob Beel in their ranks England were always a threat on the break and although Wales’ MOM Abbott and captain Caviel were stubborn in defence, home keeper Fred Beech was still called into action on more than one occasion!
Wales rang the changes, but did not threaten the England goal, Algieri and subsequently Lennon too isolated to make any real impact, particularly against such seasoned pros as Suggett and Golding.
Into the second half and England seized the initiative and although Wales’ oldest players Convery (72) and Humphrey held strong, pressure finally paid off, and when a fine cross by England MOM Parsons found England Player/manager Pollock in space, he made no mistake and calmly headed home.
In desperation Wales threw on a debilitated Batt, who still showed some deft touches which enabled Wales to camp in the England third for the final 15 minutes, but visiting keeper Stannard, as so often, was coolness personified and safely quelled any potential Celtic backlash….to help England to a worthy win.
Dermot Gallagher presented the aptly named ‘Dermot Gallagher trophy’ (a coincidence?) to England captain Suggett, to bring an end to what was a memorable occasion…and one which is planned to be repeated!
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