A WALKING footballer has made his international debut at the age of 70.

Peter Fitzpatrick has been a member of St Helens Walking Footballer since it started in 2015.

The Club has grown hugely in the past few years and has enjoyed some success in the WFA National Cup.

Two players are involved with NW England Over 60s regional squad but Peter has become the club’s first full international having played in Dublin for the Republic of Ireland over 70s team.

The 4 Nations Cup event was staged at the Abbotstown Sport Ireland Campus and featured teams from England, Wales and the Isle of Man.

Peter helped Ireland to victories over England 3-2 and Wales 3-0.

He said: “It was a dream come true since I was a boy I’ve always wanted to play for my ‘country’.

“My parents and whole family were Irish so my allegiances were never in doubt.

“My Mum and Dad would have been immensely proud Walking Football is a great way to roll back the years and play the game I’ve enjoyed most of my life.

“There’s lots of evidence of benefits of healthy activity, well-being and reinvigorated lifestyle.

“During the lockdown period our Club community made a real difference to our members mental wellbeing.

St Helens Star: Peter FitzpatrickPeter Fitzpatrick

“In St Helens we provide two sessions each week Monday mornings at Ruskin Drive and Wednesday evenings at Sutton Leisure.

“We’ve four lash members and are looking to invite more to join in the fun.

“Ours is a very inclusive club, we hope to welcome a young lady amputee who has expressed her wish to join in the next few days.

“The oldest player is 82 years young and we do have a number of players Under 50 who can no longer play ‘regular soccer’ due to long term injury or illness.”

Walking Football is non-contact, a slower paced sport played under WFA Rules for maximum safety.

Peter added: "We started as an initiative by St Helens Council Sports Development team and have enjoyed enthusiastic support from Councillor David Baines, Go Active and Ruskin Drive personnel over the years.

“We’ve got a very strong Executive Committee within the Club so we are well placed to develop yet further

"Walking Football has restored my passion for football after a period of doing nothing once my playing career and club involvement finished.

“The luck of The Irish must surely have been on my side.”