With advances in recording fitness levels and nutrition, footballers are now playing on until later in life.

But one Farnham player has returned to playing competitive football – at the age of 70.

Malcolm Ward plays in goal for Farnham Town in one of their popular multi-age walking football teams.

He played all through his teens and up to college then, when he had two boys a few years later, managed their village football teams.

That kept him busy for 11 years, as well as coaching the goalkeepers in the adult teams and at their school, and playing five-a-side on a Friday evening.

Having returned to the beautiful game many years later, Malcolm said: ‘‘I’m feeling 20 years younger – although I’m not 20 years younger and get frustrated at not saving a goal I would have saved before.

“I do feel not just physically much better, but mentally more alert. Healthwise it’s a no-brainer and is such fun.

“We play on all-weather surfaces and you still get cracking games, every bit as competitive as the 11-a-side game – and the camaraderie is the same whatever age you are.

“It’s great too that all abilities are welcome – you don’t have to be Lionel Messi.

“It’s very inclusive and women are welcome to play – we have two female players in our side.

“I never dreamed I’d still be playing at my age, but one of the guys put it best – in his 40s he’d been injured playing 11-a-side and was told he shouldn’t play again.

“In his 50s he discovered walking football – it’s good for the soul.’’

Malcolm was an actor by trade and actually played the part of an aging goalkeeper in a Flora margarine commercial, as well as appearing on stage, screen and TV.

Farnham are sponsored by care-at-home providers Home Instead Farnborough and Ascot, who apart from other support have provided this season’s kit.

Malcolm believes Gordon Banks is the best goalkeeper of all time, although admitting it may be just “a generational thing”.

Anyone aged over 45 is welcome to join the Farnham Town Flares walking football team. For details, email Andy at [email protected] and he will ensure anyone interested is invited to take part in a Tuesday evening session at the Aldershot Lido.

Sessions kick off at 6pm and the first one is free.

To find out more about Home Instead, visit www.homeinstead.co.uk/farnborough To discover how they work with groups and charities in the community to support carers and the elderly, call Jonathan Waugh on 01252 758716.