Saddleworth’s Mike Sweeney becomes England footballer

SADDLEWORTH’S own ‘Benjamin Button’ can now add a new item to his CV – England footballer.

For Mike Sweeney played for his country at the age of 76.

The radio DJ, who lives in Dobcross, made his debut for the nation’s over-75 side against Wales on Wednesday, July 3 after impressing in a trial.

And after winning 7-1 to lift the inaugural Aneurin Bevan Shield, he could not hide his delight.

Mike Sweeney has been selected for England – CREDIT MIKE SWEENEY

Sweeney told BBC Radio Manchester, on whose airwaves he broadcasts: “I’ve never done anything like this before.

“Looking at some of the things I’ve done in my life, this is right there in that list of incredible things.

“At this moment, it’s unique as I’ve never done it before and I’ve no idea whether I’ll do it again.

“It’s great because actually I thought we played really well and I don’t mean that in some sort of vain cocky, glorious way.

“We just played really well, we knocked the ball about. We’re all old guys but we had really decent legs when it mattered and we could put the yards in.

“It was incredible. Absolutely incredible.

Mike Sweeney England- CREDIT KEN POLLOCK

“I’ve been doing my life a bit like Benjamin Button. I’m doing all this stuff in reverse, so to get the call up and say I’m going to be an England international at 70-odd years of age was just wonderful.”

Mike is a familiar figure on the streets of Saddleworth and has played football since 1981.

He turned out for Irlam, Droylsden and Salford City, when they were a non-league club, and trained with Oldham Athletic and Bury.

The ‘tenacious and combative’ right back still plays in six-a-side and nine-a-side games near home and in Royton.

England were captained by Geoff Martel, from the Channel Island of Guernsey, in the 11-a-side match at England’s training headquarters at St George’s Park, near Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire.

And manager Ken Pollock, whose have a combined aged of about 1,000 years, told how said Sweeney impressed him at the trial.

“He fully merited his selection because of the quality of his play,” he said.


One Reply to “Saddleworth’s Mike Sweeney becomes England footballer”

  1. Having been a big fan of Mike in his time at capital radio. it was great to play along side him in the England over 75s football team against Wales. and being from Rochdale I was able to understand him.
    Alan Ogden.

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