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In a league of their own

9 May 2007 – for immediate release

With over 90 years football experience between them, two of Aston’s fittest fifty-somethings still haven’t lost their love of ‘the beautiful game’.

Nearly 50 years on since they first started playing in the parks and streets of Birmingham, Jim Finucane and Peter Reddy now play for Aston’s Psychology (and Business School) staff team. Every Thursday the pair meet up with the rest of the team and often kick many of the younger players into touch.

Jim, aged 55, is a University Porter and Peter, aged 53, is a Psychology Teaching Fellow. They both started playing football in the 1960s. Jim later progressed to play for various clubs in festival league football between 1972 and 1975 and about the same time played on Saturdays for Shamrock Rovers, which was a very good amateur standard team at the time.

Jim’s football talents led him to play at different venues around the country, including playing for the Midland Red Bus Company at regional level.

His expert skills have led him to rub shoulders on the pitch with the likes of Cambridge United Manager Jimmy Quinn, who played top level football for many years, including for Northern Ireland. He has also played against Birmingham City legend Kevin Francis.

‘I am 55 now, but still like to play most weeks. Aston is a great place to keep actively involved in football as part of the five-a-side team. I was also in the seven-a-side team until a couple of years ago playing against the students, said Jim.

‘I finished playing 90 minute football around nine years ago in the Warwickshire Veteran League, which was hard football of a very high standard. Around half the clubs had at least one ex-professional player in their ranks. But we only play one hour games these days.’

Born in Birmingham in 1951 of Irish decent, Jim has lived and worked in the city all his life. Team mate Peter Reddy also grew up in Birmingham and has lived nearby for most of his life.

‘When I started, boots were boots and not fancy slippers. Football socks were woollen and the ball was leather and expensive. As it wore out it started to absorb water on wet days and by the end of matches it could become heavy enough to give you concussion if you headed it!’, said Peter.

‘This is strictly fun for me and an opportunity to keep fit and run around. Our team and the teams we play against are all of mixed ability, ages and gender. We usually have a five-a-side kick around every Thursday and occasionally play evening matches against Birmingham University’s Psychology team. Some Birmingham staff come over to play with us. We also beat our Optometry students 5-2 recently!’

ENDS

For further press information please contact Hannah Brookes on (0121) 204 4549

Peter Reddy (left) and Jim Finucane.

Photo taken by Edward Moss.

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