England too strong for Wales in o75s showdown

By Alun Huish

England 7, Wales 1...... FA St George’s Park....... 3 July 2024

The Wales Veterans' Football Association accepted an invitation from England Veterans’ supremo, Ken Pollock, to send an o75s squad to St George's Park to compete for the Aneurin Bevan ‘Shield’, in honour of the man who established the NHS back in 1948. Sadly, Wales were well-beaten by a much stronger and athletic England team, but ‘Nye’ would have been justly proud of his fellow countrymen...writes a pitch-side reporter....

The Welsh squad travelled to the home of the English FA, full of confidence following months of 'intensive' training from managers, Bowker and Cardiff City legend, Mullen, and following the rousing renditions of the national anthems, the match got underway. Wales started with real intensity and they took an early lead when Bryn Powell slotted home after a fine solo run following neat interplay with Hughes. Unfortunately, the tide soon turned as the ‘robust’ hosts, with the superb, Fletcher, orchestrating, took control of the engine room and began the process of overwhelming their opponents. On fifteen minutes, Referee, Dermot Gallagher waived away the Welsh appeals for a clear foul, and when diminutive Welsh gloveman, Gilligan, was caught-out by the bounce of the ball, Farrington gleefully headed home the equaliser. Wales then conceded three more ‘avoidable’ goals with MoM, Fletcher first setting-up Ogden, before bagging a brace himself. The situation deteriorated further for Wales as they lost key players, Hudd and Powell to injury and they were finding the Alf-Ramsay Arena increasingly ‘colossal’ and the half-time whistle couldn’t come soon enough.

A ‘lively’ interval team-talk by Bowker and Mullen centred on “matching England’s physicality” before their ‘bruised’ charges returned to seek parity. Despite an improvement from Lennon, Quarini, Entwhistle, Hughes and a ‘patched-up’ Hudd, England continued with their dominance and despite the brave rear-guard action of Wales MoM, Gallivan and his defensive colleagues, England Captain, Geoff Martell completed a hat-trick past Wales replacement keeper, Austin and then celebrated with an acrobatic cartwheel before the final whistle!!

075s England v Wales @ St George's 2024 POSTER

075s England v Wales @ St George's 2024 POSTER

The victorious captain was then presented with the Nye Bevan Shield from Dr Helen Howson, Director of the Bevan Commission, along with the FAW’s Mark Adams. Both spoke passionately about the importance of football to our health and well-being and congratulated the players who “were an inspiration to others.”

Although the, Although Wales manager Bowker thought the 7-1 score-line was undeserved, he confessed “It was an unforgettable day for everyone involved. England were stronger, fitter and mastered the large St George’s arena better than we did, but with perseverance and some squad strengthening we will be a match for anyone at the forthcoming World Cup, in Cardiff in August this year.”

Congratulations to the following players who were selected by Wales Managers, Tim Bowker and Jimmy Mullen....
Wales o75s
Jim Gilligan (GK)
Hedley Austin (GK)
Rob Stevens
Steve Davies
John Gallivan
Dave Collinge
Gareth Thomas
Francis Hudd
Bryn Powell
Mark Entwhistle (Capt)
Joe Quarini
Keith Hughes
Peter Evason
Mike Soroko
Frank Lennon
Dave Mayer
Keith Beardmore

England o75s
Derek Kearey (Gk)
Geoff Martell (Capt)
Dave Goucher
Ken Pollock
John Shannon
Terry Fletcher
John Farrington
Richard Gentle
Malcolm Weale
Johnny Molloy
Mike Sweeney
Phil Stevenson
Alan East
Mike Kell

England v Wales o75s 2024 Wales squad

England v Wales o75s 2024 Wales squad

England v Wales o75s 2024 Martell with Dr Howson

England o75, 2024

Bevan commission logo

Where next?

£2000 raised for Charity! Market Harborough 3, Wales Veterans 2
£1000 raised for Velindre Charity! WVFA take part in Football Matches in aid of Velindre Hospital Charity, 30th June 2024

Match centre

Over 40s Premier WorkwearSupermarket.com
Over 40's East WorkwearSupermarket.com
Over 40's West WorkwearSupermarket.com
Over 45's WorkwearSupermarket.com

Wales Veterans Football Association newsletter

Keep up-to-date with our exclusive email newsletters.