Walking football and Parkinson's - Dave's story

When Dave, who is 75, started playing walking football, he had no idea how much it would benefit him both physically and mentally. 

Here he explains how this variation of the beautiful game has helped him manage his Parkinson's and stay active. 

My wife and daughter were the first ones to notice something was wrong. I couldn't see it myself, but I was getting slower and starting to shuffle when I walked. Then I noticed a slight tremor in my hand and I knew something wasn’t right. 


I was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 20 years ago, when I was only 55. 


Initially I was very concerned and quite anxious about the diagnosis, and it took me quite some time to process that I had Parkinson’s. 


Then, after some time had passed I decided to change my attitude. I was going to fight it and do all I could to keep it at bay.

An image of Dave Logan, a walking footballer with Parkinson's wearing a blue t-shirt and blue tracksuit trousers, white trainers and a yellow bib. He is kneeling down in the image while holding a football

Fighting back

I was a member of the British Armed Forces for 22 years and served in the Middle East, Germany and during the Falklands conflict. Military life teaches you to make exercise and physical activity part of your routine. You have to be physically fit to do the job, so it’s something I’ve tried to keep doing in later life. 


A few years after my diagnosis, I joined the local Parkinson’s group in Swindon. That was where my interest in being active with the condition really started. 


Shortly after joining the branch, a local physiotherapist contacted us about a new exercise class that she was developing for people with Parkinson’s. We were really inspired to help start the exercise classes and after it was up and running, one of our members suggested applying for a grant to play walking football.  


Growing up my sport was always rugby rather than football, but when the group first started playing walking football, I thought why not give it a go?

The game has had a really positive impact on both my physical and mental wellbeing - plus it's really good fun!

Kicking about

When I first started playing walking football I felt energised and on a high.


All exercise is good, but walking football supports different body movements and targets problem areas, such as stiffness or coordination. It helps me with my balance and mobility, particularly in my right hand side which is my ‘Parkinson’s side’.


It’s also a great social opportunity as you meet so many people who are living with the same condition. You can really encourage each other.  


Our team now plays friendly tournaments against Parkinson's healthcare staff from the local hospital - although both teams are determined to win! You get a real sense of teamwork. 


I would definitely encourage anyone living with Parkinson’s to come and try a walking football session, we always want to make everyone feel welcome. 


The game has had a really positive impact on both my physical and mental wellbeing - plus it's really good fun!

Time for kick-off

Walking football is a great way to get active with Parkinson's and you can find out more about the benefits of the sport when you live with the condition.