You’re never too old to enjoy the thrill of steering your grassroots football team to victory with a timely defensive header or speculative shot. Playing grassroots over-50s football is a great way to stay fit, meet people and stay strong as you grow older. 

But before you pull on your football boots for the first time in years, it’s important to prepare yourself for what lies ahead. That’s why we’ve compiled 10 tips for enjoying grassroots over-50s football. 


1. Check Out Walking Football Clubs

There are some great over-50s football clubs in the UK; you just need to find a local one that meets your needs. If you have mobility issues, it might be a good idea to search for walking football clubs in your area. You’ll find a few by checking out the Walking Football World website and the official Walking Football Association site.

2. Look for Over-50s Grassroots Football Clubs in Your Area

If you want to experience the real thing, SunLife’s Over-50s Football initiative is a good place to start. Contact your local sports centres, many of which run their own over-50s leagues. In fact, a lot of professional football clubs, including Aston Villa, also run their own events for the over-50s. 

3.  Attend Taster Sessions

Before you invest your time and money into over-50s football, try it out first. It might not be for you — even if you loved playing when you were younger. You’ll get a feel for the game in just a few minutes, meet fellow players, and experience the atmosphere before you make a commitment. Most over-50s clubs and associations offer regular taster sessions for newcomers. 

Preparing and Protecting Your Body

Whether you like it or not, your body isn’t able to perform the way it could when you were 20. That’s why you should take steps to prepare and protect it — particularly if you’re playing the standard form of the beautiful game. 

4. Perform Warm-Up Exercises

Joint Mobility: Begin with gentle joint movements to improve mobility. Rotate your ankles, knees, hips, wrists and shoulders to increase blood flow to the joints and reduce stiffness.

Cardiovascular Warm-Up: Engage in low-impact cardiovascular activities like brisk walking or stationary cycling for about five to ten minutes. This increases heart rate and warms up muscles.

Dynamic Stretches: Incorporate dynamic stretches to improve flexibility and range of motion. Examples include leg swings, arm circles and torso twists.

Balance Exercises: Perform balance exercises like standing on one leg or walking heel-to-toe to enhance stability, which is crucial for injury prevention.

5. Take Injury Prevention Measures

Proper Footwear: Wear supportive and comfortable shoes suitable for your exercise activity. Well-fitting shoes help prevent falls and provide adequate support.

Progress Gradually: Start with low-intensity exercises and gradually increase intensity and duration. This reduces the risk of overexertion and injury.

Strength Training: Include strength training in your routine to build muscle and protect joints. 

Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to any pain or discomfort during exercise. If you experience unusual pain, stop immediately and seek medical advice if needed.

Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps and injuries. Drink water before, during and after your workout to maintain proper hydration.

Cool Down: After exercise, cool down with light stretching to gradually lower your heart rate and reduce muscle tension.

Gear and Equipment

6. Select the Right Football Gear 

High-quality football boots are essential to prevent injuries and provide stability. Look for boots with features suitable for your playing surface. For artificial turf, consider turf shoes with shorter rubber studs. On natural grass, choose boots with longer studs for better traction.

Wear comfortable clothing that allows for ease of movement and quick drying. Opt for a lightweight, breathable jersey or football shirt. For bottoms, choose shorts or dedicated football training bottoms. Layering is also a good idea, especially in colder weather, to regulate your body temperature. Don't forget to wear comfortable, quick-drying socks to prevent blisters.

It’s always a good idea to wear shin guards to protect your lower legs from kicks and impact injuries. In fact, they’re mandatory in most leagues and competitions. Goalkeepers may require additional gear like gloves for hand protection.

7. Think About Investing in Some Football Equipment

While your chosen grassroots over-50s football club will probably have a good supply of football training cones, markers, portable football goals and footballs, think about buying a few items to improve your game at home. 

For example, a football rebounder in your garden allows you to hone your control and technique any time you want. Speed and agility ladders are great for developing balance, pace and strength. Other items to consider include passing arcs, agility hurdles and running parachutes. While not necessary, these items will help you to build your fitness levels away from the pitch. 

Enjoying Over-50s Football

8. Have Fun!

If playing over-50s football isn’t lots of fun, you’re either not doing it right or not right for it. If you can find the right club in your area — and fully commit yourself to it — the potential benefits are numerous. Remember that the primary goal of over-50s football is to have fun. 

Stay Active

Over-50s football is an excellent way to stay physically active while engaging in an enjoyable pastime. 

Make Friends

One of the remarkable aspects of over-50s football is the sense of camaraderie and social bonding. Embrace the friendships you make on the field, and embrace the supportive community of fellow players.

No Pressure

Unlike professional leagues, there's no immense pressure to win at all costs. The focus is on participation, sportsmanship and the joy of playing. 

Learn and Improve

Every game is a chance to learn and improve your skills. Regardless of your level of expertise or age, there's always room for growth. 


Beyond the matches, over-50s football often includes social gatherings and events. These provide opportunities to socialise, share stories and build lasting connections with your teammates.

Stay Positive

The mental health benefits of staying active and engaged in a social setting are significant. Playing football can boost your mood, reduce stress and contribute to overall well-being.

Start Your Over-50s Football Career Today!

Do your research, equip yourself with high-quality football gear and commit yourself to over-50s football. If you stick with it, you might just discover a new passion in life!