Congratulations are in order as our England international Lawrie Coulthard made his fourth appearance for the country’s over 70s walking football team at the start of October!
Lawrie played against Ireland’s over 70s at Rayners Lane Football Club, Harrow, and was on the winning side in a convincing 4-0 victory.
The day was made even more special for the Harrogate Town Walking Footballer as all five of his grandchildren; Harry, Molly, Orla, Joe and Ciara were mascots for the game, standing alongside their grandad while the national anthem was played.
“It was an amazing experience when I first lined up for England to sing our National Anthem, but to have all my grandchildren standing in the same line-up singing with me and my England colleagues was incredible,” Lawrie said.
“It will be something that myself and family will treasure for the rest of our lives, including our 10 month old addition, Ciara.”
Lawrie’s first appearance for England was on 23rd
August 2020 against the Republic of Ireland where Lawrie was again on the winning side as the Three Lions came out on top in a 2-0 win.
The over 70’s footballer had always played the ‘beautiful game’ in his younger days but his involvement with Harrogate Town’s Walking Football community didn’t come around until summer 2018, when a fellow chorister at the Harrogate Male Voice Choir invited Lawrie to come along to a session.
From there, Lawrie was nominated for England trials where he impressed and subsequently became a part of the national team.
Walking Football is even more important to Lawrie because of the social aspect. Lawrie sadly lost his wife Sheila to ovarian cancer in March 2020 and now lives alone. He’s found that the support from his teammates and the Harrogate Town Community Foundation has helped him “overcome” the passing of his wife.
“It is important, especially when living alone, that one has something to look forward to each week as well as playing in weekend inter-club competitive matches. It really does help with our socialising and impacts hugely on our improved mindfulness,” Lawrie said.
“Being involved with Harrogate Town’s Walking Football Group has helped me overcome the loss of my dear wife Sheila, who unselfishly encouraged me to continue with my England trials even during her darkest days. She was a brave Kerry lady and it was poignant that she left us on St Patrick’s Day 17th
“I feel incredibly proud and fortunate to have earned my 4th
International Cap. To say that this is a milestone in my life would be an understatement, especially in the current climate and to be fit enough to play the game I love at my age,” Lawrie added.
“I do hope to continue with my England career and most certainly with Harrogate Town Football Club, health and performances permitting.”