Better late than never! Goal-den oldie Roy is Yorkshire football’s senior saver

Roy Greatorex, at the age of 69 makes his debut in goal for Fieldhead Hospital.
Roy Greatorex, at the age of 69 makes his debut in goal for Fieldhead Hospital.

Meet Roy Greatorex, the Wakefield granddad who’s definitely still getting a kick out of his sporting life.

Former miner Roy, from Crofton, has just made his debut for amateur football team Fieldhead Hospital at the age of 69.

Playing in net, he dressed up for the occasion by donning the same flat cap he could often be found wearing during the miners’ strike of 1984 and 1985.

His boots, meanwhile, were older than the rest of the players on the pitch, having first seen action during the 1960s.

Experience sadly proved no match for youth, with Fieldhead finishing on the wrong end of a 10-1 scoreline in the Wakefield and District League fixture against Crofton Sports at Thornes Park.

Granddad-of-six Roy was keen to point out, however, that he only let in four of the goals as he did not play the entire game.

And although he has no plans for another appearance with Fieldhead, that doesn’t mean he’s ready to hang up his boots altogether.

Roy, who was an amateur rugby league regular in his youth but hasn’t properly got to grips with competitive sport since the 1970s, said: “My son-in-law Paul [Bentley] plays for Fieldhead and I said to him that I’d love to have a game.

“He asked the manager who said come down and give it a go. I really enjoyed it and the lads were great with me.

“I’ve taken a bit of flak over the scoreline, although it’s all been in good spirit.”

Roy, now keeping in trim by working as a roofer after spending more than 30 years at Nostell and Sharlston pits, added: “I think it’ll be just a one-off for me with Fieldhead but I’d still like to play some rugby again – if I can find a team who’ll have me!”

Fieldhead manager Neil Thompson said his new recruit had done “remarkably well” for a man of 69, although he also joked: “It might be another 69 years before we give him a second game!”

Neil added: “It was a really good day, what local football is all about.”

FA Cup winning goalkeeper Dave Beasant made headlines last year when he was named among Stevenage’s substitutes for a game against Luton Town at the age of 56.

Cameroon striker Roger Milla is the oldest goalscorer in World Cup history, netting against Russia in the 1994 tournament when he was 42.

Sir Stanley Matthews appeared in the English top flight for Stoke City aged 50.

Eddie Burbanks’ game against Hull City in 1954 made him the oldest player in Leeds United history at 41.