The Gosport man taking up a new sport at the age of 80

Most 80-year-olds choose to enjoy retirement with a welcome rest.

Friday, 22nd November 2019, 2:35 pm
Updated Friday, 29th November 2019, 4:00 pm
Malcolm Savage (left), coach Martyn Webb (centre) and organiser Dougie Leask. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (231119-2)

But a Gosport man is bucking that trend by taking up a new sport.

Malcolm Savage has been a welcome presence at the opening three walking rugby sessions held at Gosport & Fareham Rugby Club over the past few weeks.

The oldest participant by several years, the Gosport resident is just enjoying being able to stay active and socialise at his age.

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Gosport & Fareham Rugby Club walking rugby session participants. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (231119-1)

Despite previous health issues, including a heart attack, deep brain thrombosis and kidney trouble, Savage has not let that stop him from heading along to sessions.

By his own admission, he is not a fan of rugby – but since taking up the sport is beginning to grow on him now he has an understanding of it.

‘I’ve always wanted to do something,’ said Savage.

‘I’m 80 years of age and what is there left?

Gosport & Fareham walking rugby action. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (231119-7)

‘Of course, this walking rugby has come into the town and I’ve given it a go.

‘It’s smashing, it is.

‘I did not really play sport. (when I was younger)

‘I know most people my age are sat in an armchair.

Gosport & Fareham walking rugby session. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (231119-6)

‘But I didn’t want to do that, I wanted to get out and start doing something.

‘It’s really great fun.

‘I’ve had a heart attack, deep brain thrombosis, I’ve got kidney trouble but it’s fine.

‘It keeps you active and keeps you going.

‘I can’t stand the game.

‘I’ve never watched it on TV and I can’t stand it.

‘But I wish I had watched it now.

‘Once you know the rules and regulations, you can understand it.’

Savage had watched walking rugby sessions being held in other regions of the country online.

Having had a taste for it on the internet, he wanted to give it a try and was delighted when Dougie Leask decided to launch it at Gosport & Fareham.

And Savage has thanked members of the club for the welcome he has received.

He added: ‘They’re brilliant people. They really look after you.

‘The next one down from me in terms of age are in their 50s or 60s, I think.

‘I’ve been watching it on Facebook all over the country.

‘I was always wishing that something would start up in Gosport.

‘Eventually it has come to Gosport.

‘I shall be there every Saturday moving forward.’

n Sessions take place every Saturday at Gosport and Fareham Rugby Club from 10:30am until midday.

Anyone interested in taking part should contact Dougie Leask on 07733001063.