The England 1970s team with Ken Pollock at the far left of the front row

He is the player-manager of the England team of the 1970s, a team that evolved from the early teams of the 1950s and 55s, an idea instituted by Mike Burles who, in the years that followed, promoted the creation of teams from the 60s and 65s.

Pollock said: “I’m 73 and regularly play 90 minutes of non-veteran football on Sunday mornings for Grove Grovellers in Hythe, alongside players aged 27 to 73 (me)!”

The NHS game takes place this afternoon for a cup that showcases and reflects the links between football, exercise and many elements of health in the elderly. He will be refereed by former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher.

Players from across the country will represent English and Welsh sides in the first-ever match of its kind.

Showcasing the true nature of veteran football, a player representing England, 79-year-old John Shannon jnr, will take part in the match as his 104-year-old father, John Shannon snr, watches.

Pollock said: “The recent pandemic has shown the importance of physical fitness because statistically exercise has been a preventative and curative agent for the elderly. To mark this we have called the cup the NHS Challenge Trophy, to reflect our gratitude for their work over the past 18 months.

“By attending the game, we are fortunate to have the Shannons, father and son, aged 104 and 79 respectively, watching and playing.

“There is no better testament to the benefits of our game than what can be found in their participation in games.”

Holly Murdoch, General Manager of St George’s Park, said: “Over the past nine years we have hosted many age groups, different sports and different forms of football at St George’s Park – to welcome the first more. 70 year old The NHS Challenge Trophy is a true honor and another moment of which we are incredibly proud.

“We all know the important role football can play in people’s lives, and we hope that this will inspire the older generation to dust off their shoes and start playing football again.”

The match will be played on one of the stunning indoor courts in St George’s Park with a start at 2pm. Pollock added, “I have had a number of meetings with the FA, either face to face or via webinars over the course of several years on the project. “We were fortunate that John Shannon snr received the FA 2017 Supporter of the Year award.”

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