VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) --- It was an early Sunday morning at the Hampton Roads Soccer Center in Virginia Beach.
The weather was ideal, and the Shorebreak Patriots were getting in their usual warm up before their weekly game.
The team plays in the over-50 division in the Over Thirty Soccer League.
Most of the players on the Patriots are in their 60’s competing in one of the most physically demanding sports.
But then there’s John Samuel.
“You gotta keep trying,” said Samuel.
At 85 years old, John is the oldest guy on the field by at least 15 years.
“He runs,” said teammate Kevin Sullivan. “How many 85 year olds can sprint?”
John doesn’t just sprint, he sprints with tenacity, and he never shys away from the action.
John is originally from Brecon, Wales.
He grew up as a rugby player, and continued to play the sport until he found soccer ten years ago.
“Ive done it all my life,” said Samuel. “I’ve been very fortunate.”
In the early 60’s, he and his wife moved to the United States and they’d never look back.
But in 2003 she passed away just after the couple had retired.
“That was the worst time in my life,” said Samuel.
But around that time is when he started playing soccer, and he met a group of guys who don’t go easy on him just because of his age.
The league is competitive, and John plays just as hard as everyone else, because his wheels arne’t stopping even at 85 years old.