A CINNAMON Brow man has proved age is no barrier to making a sporting international debut.

Peter Fitzpatrick, a former Crosfields player, manager and committee man, has become his current club's first full international having played for Republic of Ireland Over 70s walking football team in Dublin this month.

The 70-year-old retired consultant helped Ireland to victories over England 3-2 and Wales 3-0 in the Four Nations Cup event staged at the Abbotstown Sport Ireland Campus.

"It was a dream come true," he said.

"Since I was a boy I’ve always wanted to play for my ‘country’.

Warrington Guardian: Peter FitzpatrickPeter Fitzpatrick

"My parents and whole family were Irish so my allegiances were never in doubt.

"My mum and dad would have been immensely proud."

Fitzpatrick, who worked in sales and marketing at BiC for 15 years before switching to the greeting card industry working with Warrington Wolves chairman Stuart Middleton, has a long history with football, including his almost 25 years at Crosfields FC in various roles.

He was public relations officer for the Warrington and District Football League for five years, a period in which he was responsible for launching the league's first website.

Fitzpatrick considers his football highlight as being the manager of the Fearnhead league-winning team.

But now he is seeing the benefits of being back out on the field in the walking version of the sport.

"Walking football is a great way to roll back the years and play the game I’ve enjoyed most of my life," he said.

"There’s lots of evidence of benefits of healthy activity, well-being and reinvigorated lifestyle.

"During the lockdown period our club community made a real difference to our members' mental wellbeing."

Fitzpatrick has been a member of the St Helens Walking Football Club since it started in 2015, but recommends to anyone interested in getting involved to check out availability in Warrington too.

"I’d urge anyone who fancies playing to look at opportunities locally," he said.

"Warrington has a great sports infrastructure so opportunities are on your doorstep.

"Walking football has restored my passion for football after a period of doing nothing once my playing career and club involvement finished.

"The luck of the Irish must surely have been on my side."

Walking football is non-contact, a slower paced sport played under WFA rules for maximum safety.

Culcheth Walking Football Club is one such group previously covered in Warrington Guardian.