Getting together for football and friendship

Zena - Any Old Irons Football Friends participant

Our Football Friends programme is run in partnership with football clubs and their charitable foundations, with the support of the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA). It connects individuals aged 65 or over through their shared love of football.

We currently run five-week programmes with the West Ham Foundation called Any Old Irons. Zena took part earlier this year – this is her story.

Being a West Ham fan

“I have lived in East London all my life – I was born in Mile End and then lived in Stratford.

I don’t know much about football, but I went to a couple of matches in my younger days, and I’d call myself a West Ham fan. I first heard about Any Old Irons from my friend Eileen, who is a volunteer.

Finding friendship

I love coming to meetings and talking about the old times; from our local community, lots of people of my age have either moved away or have died, so there are not many of us left!

I don’t have children and I lost my husband last year, so I think that it is very important to have something like Any Old Irons happening locally – if you sit indoors, you can think you are on your own, but this means you are not alone.

Keeping in touch

I’ve really enjoyed talking with people at the sessions; I am going to keep in touch and come to the monthly meetings that other former participants have arranged, and I’m also thinking about becoming an Any Old Irons volunteer.

My message to anyone locally about Any Old Irons would be: ‘Please come.  You will meet other people and will have an enjoyable and interesting time.’

Find out more about Football Friends and get in touch.