Sheffield mum-of-two celebrates call-up to England walking football team
A Sheffield mum-of-two is celebrating after being selected to represent her country next month.
Fiona Hall, from Grenoside, has earned a call-up to the England Women's Walking Football Squad.
The 50-year-old, who plays for the Sheffield Striders, will be in the 50+ squad that takes on Wales in Merthyr Tydfil on Saturday, November 2.
She was chosen after successfully coming through a trial by the national team selectors.
Fiona is itching to pull on the famous Three Lions shirt but admits to thinking her playing days were over before she discovered walking football.
“I thought my football playing days were long gone," she told the Star.
"Once I got married and had children, other responsibilities took over and I became a spectator, watching my eldest daughter play.
"However, a friend told me about the sessions at the Striders so I thought I’d give it a go.
"It’s been a brilliant journey, and playing walking football has really given me a huge boost.”
The Striders, based out of Sheffield United’s Shirecliffe training ground, runs sessions each Wednesday evening.
Indeed, they too have enjoyed their own success after reaching the last four of the People's FA Cup and the final of a national tournament in Preston this year.
Fiona, who previously played 11 a side football for Birmingham City, and Barnsley, says the concept of walking football suits her down to a tee.
Players are forbidden from running whilst only low-impact tackling is permitted.
She added: "I was never the fastest player, and I wasn’t that keen on ferocious tackles, so walking football suits me down to the ground!
"I’ve got a decent level of skill though.
“And I’m comfortable with either foot, which helps a lot, as it makes it harder for defenders to mark me.”