Well distant from all the glamour, glitz and glory on display in the Barclays Premier League, below the Sky Bet Championship and even far from the Blue Square Conference are the levels of football where people play for pleasure, not pay, and clubs survive on the goodwill and efforts of its members. It’s the grass roots of our national game.
Whilst there’ll be articles aplenty focusing on the glory game, I also want to contribute my bit to focusing attention on the game at grassroots level. This season, I’ve linked up on my All Blue Daze Facebook page with Long Melford FC and will be featuring their season with the help of the club’s website editor, Andy Cussans.
To give you an idea of who Long Melfrod are, I’ve Andy to give me some introductory information about the club, and he came up with the following six facts.
1. The first record of the club was as long ago as 1868, which makes us one of the oldest clubs in the country.
2. Long Melford is a village located in Suffolk, 3 miles away from Sudbury.
3. The club’s 1st Team play in the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties First Division (Step 6), we also have a reserve team, Under 18 team and Ladies team.
4. Last season the 1st Team finished 13th out of 18 clubs. We started slowly and were stuck in the bottom three until February before climbing the table in the last few months.
5. Our club colours are black and white stripes. In the 1950s the team regularly wore Newcastle United’s old shirts, thanks to an arrangement between Melford’s chairman Jim Aspey and a connection at Newcastle.
6. One of Melford’s earliest players was capped for England. William Nevill Cobbold, who was born in Long Melford on 4th February 1862 and played in most of the club’s earliest matches, represented England as centre forward against Scotland, Ireland and Wales between 1883 and 1888.
So that's Long Melford FC. I hope you'll enjoy hearing about the ups and downs of their season, and get to know a little about football at the grass roots. I hope that by the time next May rolls around, Long Melford will be a lot more well-known than they are now, and a few more people will have as their second team.
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