THEY must be putting something special in the water at Abergavenny Leisure Centre, because another one of their five-a-side stalwarts has just hit 70 and is still tackling, passing, kicking, and scoring goals every Monday and Friday night with a spring in his step and a sense of purpose in his stride.
Local footballer Chris West celebrated his 70th birthday in style, with nine other men, some nets, and a leather ball. In other words, he did what he’s been doing for many a moon, playing the beautiful game, and playing like a man who sees age as just a number and not a handicap.
The lifelong Arsenal fan has been involved in grassroots footy since he was a young lad, and has had stints at Tranch, New Inn, and the Abergavenny Chroniclers’ FC.
West was also involved in management roles for the King’s Head FC and latterly, Gilwern FC.
The fanatical footballer has been a mainstay in keeping the local five-a-side teams on a firm footing throughout the years, and has made many a firm friend on his footballing odyssey. None more so than fellow five-a-sider Billy Faulds.
In 2011 the Chronicle featured a story on ‘Billy boy’, when he turned 70. Fast forward six years and the silver-haired soccer enthusiast couldn’t be happier that his mate has reached the same milestone and is still booting the ball with all the passion and conviction of a man half his age.
Billy explained, “On behalf of the five-a-side lads I’d like to wish Chris a very happy birthday and long may he continue to keep on playing and watching the game he loves.”
Billy added, “Chris an ardent Arsenal fan and regularly attends all their matches, but it’s probably best not to ask if he was at the Emirates when the Gunners played Bayern Munich.”
When asked what the secret was to his mate Chris’s long and illustrious footballing career, Billy revealed, “Westy is not one to sacrifice the good things in life, so I would imagine his longevity in the game is purely down to his impressive ability to carefully preserve his energy when playing.”