Walking Football with Colchester United Foundation has been a ‘Godsend’ for Lee.

Lee was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2012 and was soon referred to walking football by medical staff who support Lee with his condition.

His diagnosis soon began to impact a range of elements of his life, including his ability to work and socialise.

He explained: “I had to have a lot of time off work before becoming home-based, if I’m being honest, I lost a lot of confidence.”

As well as affecting Lee’s speech, he also has a right-sided weakness, symptoms of which include pins and needles and a leg drag, which are particularly evident during colder months.

Lee described the sessions as a ‘Godsend’ when outlining the changes he has noticed since he first started coming to the sessions, it is easy to understand why.

By his own admission, Lee had begun to wallow in his own self-pity, lost a lot of his confidence and was struggling with his mental health, finding the prospect of going out to be a daunting one.

However, walking football has provided Lee with a renewed self-confidence.

“It’s massively improved my social skills; I’ve met loads of great people on the programme and the coaches have been brilliant and a big support. I’d recommend it to anyone. It’s been a big benefit to my life.”

Although the session shows obvious physical benefits, for many and especially Lee, the improvements in his social and mental well-being far outweighs that.

He said: “Interacting with other people has played a huge part and a lot of social skills have come out of that, I think.

We’ve started going out on social events outside of the sessions, we’ve done some curry nights for example, and we’ve also taken part in tournaments at Ipswich Town whilst representing Colchester United, which we all enjoyed massively. I’ve probably met 40-odd new friends because of coming here. It’s a pleasure to spend my evenings with the people here (players & staff).”

With the support of his fellow participants, Lee is raising money for Multiple Sclerosis UK on MS Awareness Day (30th May 2024) by encouraging them to wear something orange.