Meet Britain’s oldest goalkeeper

Meet Britain's oldest goalkeeper, who pulls on his gloves once a week - despite being about to celebrate his 90th birthday.

Bert Cunningham still loves a kickabout with his OAP pals every Thursday, at World of Football in Edinburgh.

But due to his advanced years, the former fitness instructor, who will celebrate his 90th birthday tomorrow [SAT], prefers walking football to running about on a pitch.

Walking football is described as 'the beautiful game, only a little bit slower' - and is like five-a-side only running is banned.

Bert has been going every week for five years, and says it reignited his love for the sport, which he'd not played since he was at school.

Dedicated Bert is the goalkeeper for the Edinburgh City Walking Football group - despite having had two knee replacements.

Great-grandfather-of-two Bert said: "I believe I'm Scotland's oldest footballer, I might be Britain's oldest footballer.

"As far as I know, I'm the oldest in Britain.

"I'd not played football since I was at school but I used to cycle competitively.

"I love playing, and I love afterwards having a wee chat and a coffee or a tea.

"If I can keep playing it, anyone can play it."

Once a week for the past five years, Bert laces up his Nike Air Maxes and tries to stop the opposition getting goals in.

His teammates describe him as 'an inspiration'.

Oldest goalkeeper

Bert has been married to wife Janette, 86, for 62 years and they have a son, Norman, aged 59.

Born in Leith, Edinburgh, Bert used to watch either Hearts or Hibs play at home with no strong preference for either team.

He worked as a fitness instructor for 40 years, in leisure centres in Edinburgh.

Bert, who has two grandchildren, says football gives him a lively social life.

He said: "I used to do cycle racing, trampolining, bowling, and I taught physio training.

"I had to stop cycling as I had both knees replaced, so I can't bend them to 90 degrees.

"But this is great - the comradeship is very good.

"Afterwards, we go to the canteen to have a drink or something to eat.

"I've got a good social life."

There are more than 50 footballers on the club's books, and some are nearly as old as Bert.

The youngest players are in their 50s, and many have recovered from illnesses or injuries.

Bert was unfazed by his big day, on September 7, and will celebrate by going to the pub with pals from his bowls club.

He added: "It's just another day as far as I can see.

"I'm enjoying it - I'm very lucky."

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