Walking football: the sporting craze helping men to battle depression

Men suffering from depression, anxiety and social isolation are literally walking back to happiness thanks to the rapidly spreading sporting craze of ‘walking football’, the sedentary iteration of the beautiful game that aims to attract older players who can no longer cover miles of turf in one match.  What's more, the deceptively challenging game hasn’t just captured the imagination of men who’d long ago hung up their boots. “We have guys playing who’d never kicked a ball before,” explains Paul Smith, who runs walking football sessions in the Scottish borders village of Newcastleton. “We have men in their 50s and 60s playing now for the first time, some of whom have had mental health problems – others who live alone and would struggle to leave the house before.”