The Walking Football fraternity was dealt a double blow last week when, on two separate occasions, members collapsed and died.
60-year-old Gordon Powell from Marbella (Spain) suffered a massive heart attack whilst watching a game at The East Algarve Walking Football Festival at Olhão. The on-site paramedic and a retired doctor, a member of one of the teams, were promptly joined by the emergency services but despite their valiant efforts they were unable to revive the patient.
Twenty-four hours later, 60-year-old Ronnie Steven collapsed and died of a suspected aneurysm at the Browns WF session in Vilamoura. Chris Wright, President of East Algarve Walking Football said, “We are all shocked and saddened by these tragic deaths and wish to convey our sincerest condolences to Gordon and Ronnie’s families. Both men had embraced the sport they loved and had enjoyed the physical activity and camaraderie.”
The East Algarve Walking Festival was immediately abandoned following Gordon’s death. A great tribute to Gordon is on the Walking Football Spain website (click here), and we are hoping to visit our friends from Spain sometime in the New Year to play a few friendly matches and have a few beers in memory of Gordon.
Gordon’s funeral will be held in the UK in a few weeks time.
A former player with our Olhao group, Ronnie moved to the sessions at Browns (Vilamoura) some time ago. He was liked enormously by our East Algarve players.
Ronnie’s cremation will take place on Monday November 27th. He will be at the Olive Branch in Messines from midday for about 1–2 hours so people can say their goodbyes. Following his cremation, the family will be taking his ashes back to the UK for a service in Glasgow on Friday December 1st.
Jackie, his partner, has said that if anyone would like to say anything at the “Celebration of Ronnie’s Life”, that would be lovely.
Browns WF will be holding a minute’s applause when they resume their sessions on Tuesday 28th. We will also be holding a simultaneous minute’s applause at our over 60s session in Olhao.