'I felt really proud': Northampton grandfather makes debut for England over-70s walking football team
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David Poole earned a commemorative cap after playing in goal for the second half of 2-0 win in the international six-a-side friendly in memory of Jack Charlton.
The 70-year-old 'keeper said he was pleased with his performance but was mostly over the moon for the honour of playing for his country.
"I didn't know I would get a cap but that was brilliant - I felt really proud, I don't want to sound like I'm blowing my own trumpet but it was really special," he told the Chronicle & Echo.
Dave, as he is known, was called up to the over-70s England squad after a trial in Romford last year but because he was still 69, he could not play.
After a few inter-squad friendlies having turned 70, a change of manager and games cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, he earned his call-up for the game at Boldmere St Michael's Football Club in Sutton Coldfield.
The International Walking Football Federation arranged the fixture with the blessing of Charlton's family following his death last month, as he played for England and managed Ireland.
Dave was in the 12-man squad along with another goalkeeper, who played for the first 30 minutes before he took over for the second half, ending with a clean sheet for both.
"I was very apprehensive about when I would get in to the team but thankfully I did," he said.
"We were the better side I think, there wasn't a lot in it and I didn't have much to do which was good, but it was lovely to play."
Dave was born in Semilong and has lived in the town all of his life, working as an upholsterer and playing football for a variety of teams over the years.
But after retiring at 40, he thought he would not put on his goalie gloves again but three years ago, he joined Moulton Masters Walking Football Club and has not looked back.
"I hear a lot of people say, 'I can't do that,' but once you do it, you won't doubt it again as it's like going back in time," he said.
"When I retired playing at 40, if someone had said I would play again, I wouldn't have believed them but here I am and I'm fully enjoying it."
Dave thanked the members at Moulton Masters who have supported him throughout his time there and ahead of the England game to calm his nerves, especially chairman Phil Andrews.
His teammates even gave him a guard of honour at the next training session at the Brunting Road ground to welcome him back.
"Phis is terrific with all the work he does and we all play, we don't differentiate between abilities or anything like that," he said.
"It's really good, everyone appreciates each other and there's no nastiness - they're a wonderful bunch."
Dave hopes he can play again for England with no plans to stop yet.
"I only dreamt about playing for my country but I never thought I would make it," he said.
"But I've been in the squad since the trials so I haven't let myself down and what they have seen of me, they're happy with me.
"What happens next, I don't know but I've got there, that's all I can say, but the club has helped me a lot."
Dave would wholeheartedly recommend walking football and Moulton Masters, which has almost 100 players now aged over 50 and 10 in their 70s.
"Everyone I see I bore them with how much I love walking football, it's a must for anyone who likes football," he said.
"Even if you haven't played before, I promise you will love it."
Anyone interested in joining Moulton Masters should call Phil on 07842 537854, email [email protected] or visit the club's Facebook page.