By Jack Simpson and Jamie Woodhouse
Football fans in West Yorkshire may be surprised to learn that they can watch a former Everton, Manchester City and Bradford player in action in a local league.
Peter Beagrie is just one example of a former pro who plays in the West Yorkshire Veterans Premier League as the sport enjoys a resurgence in the region.
The league was founded by York Corinthians as a charity and has 14 teams. Beagrie currently plays for the Harrogate team.
The Ilkley Town side was formed in 1992 and the original squad lasted for a few years before it folded. However, it was reformed ten years ago and they have shown progress, currently top of the league.
Ilkley Town chairman Richard Giles, said: “We are really pleased to have a veterans team, we’ve had it for five or six years now.
“They are playing football in their 40s, they bring their kids along, so it’s a great thing to have.”
Ilkley veteran player Nick Quaife, said: “The team lasted until the early 2000s, it finished when the kids started to come through, then it started again ten years ago.
“It’s a good craic, keeps the blood flowing, we are a group of local lads and we are doing well.”
“It keeps people in touch and it keeps you active.”
Having won 3-1 against Amarath Manstonians in their last game, the veterans head for their toughest test of the season with their next fixture against Harrogate Veterans in a potential tittle decider. There is a nine point gap back to third-place Killinghall Veterans.