A former Accrington Stanley star who has played football for more than 40 years realised a lifetime’s ambition after appearing for his country.
Trevor Hanson, of Corn Mill Yard, Clayton-le-Moors, starred for England’s over-50s walking football team in their inaugural international match against Italy.
The game was held at Premier League Brighton and Hove Albion’s 30,000 capacity Amex Stadium, with England running out 2-0 winners.
Trevor, who is married to Zuzana and runs a resurfacing and landscaping firm with his four sons, said it was an unforgettable experience.
He said: “To put the England shirt on was for all my friends and family and all the players I’ve played with and against.
“It was a fantastic stadium and to sing the national anthem wearing the Three Lions kit will stick with me for ever.
“I’ve been a player for a long time at quite a good level, but obviously I never thought I’d play for my country. It’s a dream.
“We trained in Crawley on Saturday and went to a gala dinner with the Italians at the Grand Albion Hotel in the evening.”
Trevor, 57, is the current captain of Blackburn Rovers walking football team.
The former St Christopher’s High School pupil, who has lived in the Accrington area all his life, was selected from trials at Burnley’s Gawthorpe complex where more than 300 gathered to try and claim a spot in the over-50s and over-60s squads.
Trevor, who enjoyed three spells as a goalkeeper with Stanley in their non-league days as well as playing for Morecambe and Great Harwood, has been playing walking football for about two years and now revels in his role as sweeper.
He said walking football had been a great way for him to continue in the sport.
Players have to have one foot on the floor at all times, but Trevor said the game at the top level is ‘as tough as any 11-a-side game’.
He said: “It’s a good way for players to extend their careers as at one time you would have to hang up your boots.
“There are three ex-professionals in the England squad. I’d also encourage people over 50 of all abilities to get involved in the game.”
The over-60s squad, who also played last weekend at Brighton, contained Tommy Charlton, 72, brother of World Cup winners Bobby and Jack, and Alan Kennedy, 63, who scored the winner in the 1981 European Cup Final for Liverpool.