Prague Tour 2006

Just before departure

Wymeswold's group of veteran footballers embarked on their sixth annual tour over the weekend of Friday 6th to Sunday 8th October. After previous visits to Dublin, Zurich, Jersey, St Agnes and Cork, this year's destination was the historic city of Prague in the Czech Republic.


The 14-strong party - comprising of over-40's from Wymeswold, Burton and Willoughby - flew out from East Midlands Airport on Friday morning, with most of the party sporting newly-grown moustaches in honour of Stan Staniforth. Stan had sported a moustache for nearly 30 years and his wife Mandy had never seen him without it, but he agreed to shave his off on tour should the other members of the party grow one.

After checking in to the hotel on Wenceslas Square, the party spent the rest of the day sampling Prague's diverse culture and nightlife. By way of a warm-up for the football the following day, the group were able to get their legs and feet moving in one of Prague more futuristic nightclubs, dancing to the sounds of Abba, Rick Astley and Shakin' Stevens.

On Saturday, the vets travelled to the outskirts of the city to take on a team from the Czech Geological Services. The game was organised through Tony Myers, who works at the British Geological Survey at Keyworth.

After an opening ceremony when each member was presented with a souvenir Prague calendar, the match kicked off and Wymeswold held their own for the first half against a side younger in age, and with the added benefit of playing together every week.

Jim Coggan was not seriously tested in the Wymeswold goal, Richard Bowley controlled the game in midfield and Mark Dunton went close to putting Wymeswold ahead. The oldest member of the side, Gareth Smith, made some vital touches and Shane O'Leary went close to scoring but at half time the game was goal-less

After the break the Czech side stepped up the pressure and Stuart Frobisher wanted to break free from defence, but managed to hold firm at the back after intense pressure. It wasn't until the 70 th minute that Jim Coggan was finally beaten with a low shot, and then two further goals made the final score 3-0 to the Czechs.

Wymeswold did have the satisfaction, however, of winning a just-for-fun penalty shoot-out competition at full-time.

Nursing a few sore legs and sore heads from the previous day and evening, the party - including Stan Staniforth- shaved off their moustaches and flew back to the East Midlands on Sunday afternoon with plans already afoot for next year's tour.