Shootout glory for soccer stars; Walking football North Lanarkshire Leisure are best in UK.
Ben Ramage North Lanarkshire Leisure's Walking Football Team have strolled their way to the top of the UK.
Having triumphed at a 12-team tournament at Alloa Athletic in June, they were selected to represent Scotland at the recent Home Nations Tournament.
Team NLL successfully negotiated the group stages to reach the final after winning two games.
The final proved to be a tight affair, finishing 1-1. The North Lanarkshire lads held their nerve in the penalty shootout to be crowned champions.
The NL Leisure side were crowned Home Nations champions and the team celebrated long into the night after their amazing success.
Player Ian Hillon, who scored the winning penalty, said: "I got cancer in 2008 and then a triple bypass.
"I used to enjoy playing football but I was worried I would just have to sit at home after the operation.
"Thankfully, I was told about walking football and it's saved me, to be honest.
"It helps you keep fit as well as getting the chance to have a laugh."
The Scottish winners hone their skills every week at special sessions which take place at Broadwood Stadium and Airdrie Leisure Centre.
The sessions are specially adapted to keep it competitive for the older players while focusing on technique and ability.
Nicky Laughlin, football development co-ordinator with North Lanarkshire Leisure said: "Congratulations to the team, they have done incredibly well to become national champions.
"Age is no barrier to keeping fit.
"Being active is more important than ever to maintaining good physical and mental health and our walking football is a great way to do that while socialising with likeminded friends."
The sessions run from noon to 1pm every Tuesday at Broadwood and Thursday at Airdrie Leisure Centre and are open to players aged 50 and over at a cost of PS3 per week.
?To find out more, visit www.nlleisure.co.uk, phone 01236 341968 or email nicky. firstname.lastname@example.org@nlleisure.co.uk.
Home Nations champions NLL walking football winners