Ian Cunningham: ‘I’m 80 years old and still playing rugby’

At 80 years old, Northern Ireland man Ian Cunningham is one of the oldest walking rugby players in the UK. His love of rugby began more than 60 years ago when he played as a boy at Royal School Dungannon, County Tyrone. He then went onto play for Coleraine Rugby club for a number of years before a knee injury meant he had to pause his playing career.

Years later, after retiring and moving to England, his love for the sport was rekindled after discovering walking rugby. He now plays for Kendal Auld Greys and has no plans to stop anytime soon.

“Never mind the skill, the speed or anything like that, it’s the friendship that’s the most important thing,” he said. There are about 60 walking rugby clubs in England alone, with approximately 50 members per club.

Article first published on BBC News on 9 May 2021. Video journalist: Niall McCracken

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