Meet Joe, a golden oldie goalie living his dream thanks to National Lottery funding

Meet Joe, a golden oldie goalie living his dream thanks to National Lottery funding

For 92-year-old Joe Morgan, donning a pair of goalie gloves and playing football has always been his dream.

"When I was a lad about 10 years old, I would love to be a goalkeeper," he reveals, "So fast forward 82 years, and here I am".

National Lottery funding has meant that Joe is able to dive and slide to his hearts' content, even if getting back up again is a little more difficult than it used to be - "I love diving low for a ball, but there's one problem... when I dive down, I can't get up," he explains, with typical good humour.

Danderball - or walking football - is a great way for the elderly to stay active both in body and in mind, and it's helping to provide new social connections and a sense of purpose for those over the age of 60.

At the moment, this Danderball team consists of 20 people; 14 men, and six women. But away from the centre circle toward one end of the pitch, Joe Morgan stands out in more ways than one.

Credit: The National Lottery

For one, Joe is the oldest member of the Danderball group, at 92 years old. He's also a bit of a local celebrity thanks to his commitment to the Danderball cause and his excellent dry sense of humour. When he's not keeping shots out on the pitch, however, he's the life of the party off it, heading to the pub for a pint or maybe a quick song.

Credit: The National Lottery

Joe is just one of the many individuals helped by Danderball, which has introduced him to new people and imbued him with purpose.

Danderball has proven invaluable for the elderly community, and Joe has helped other people like him to join in on the fun. "Well there is a couple of men who were very, very lonely," he explained. "And I introduced them to the walking football and now they're living a new life."

Credit: The National Lottery

But despite the good social capital the Danderball community is building up, it's not something that happens overnight. Without the contribution of The National Lottery, these walking football events wouldn't be able to take place.

"Without The National Lottery, the walking football, I think, would collapse," Joe confirmed. "I think it would be devastating for our folks, because I know for a fact one to two of them, this is the highlight of their week."

Credit: The National Lottery

Joe Morgan is just one of the people who benefits, but in a way, he's the perfect example of the good that National Lottery funding does.

"It's just brightened my whole life up, it's just wonderful," he said. "Just look at me today: I enjoy every second of it."

Sponsored article in association with The National Lottery.