John Jacobs, the Club President, recalls the glories of the past and looks forward to a bright future for today's teams.
Feltwell Football Club had some excellent local players in the 1930s. The late Sid Maggs was a local hero in both football and cricket. In 1936 Feltwell won the Norfolk Primary Cup, which was a fine achievement, and many local people will remember Jack Crook, Pat Adams, Kelly Jonson, Tom Spencer, Henry Cracknell, Stan Sutton Snr, Matt Brown, Andy Arnold, the three Godbold brothers and others who contributed to that achievement.
On leaving school in 1948 I had the pleasure of playing with some excellent Feltwell footballers. Most local players stuck to their own village Club. A lot of these players were in the war and on their return to village life another excellent team was chosen and the club spirit was really good; the younger lads felt it was an honour to get into the team with these players. Names familiar to many villagers are: Arthur Coleman, Frank Edwards, John Storey, the three Eyres brothers, Frank Willett, Harold Maggs, Len Cooper, Bob Turner, Peter Whitehand, Danny Wortley, Ron Butcher and the three babies of the team, Malcolm Cock, Doug Thompson and John Jacobs. Sadly many of these players are no longer with us.
Local people were great supporters of the Club, probably because there was not much transport in those days, so more people stayed at home. The end of the season "charity " matches were also very well supported , we played against teams like Methwold, Southery, Brandon, Feltwell RAF, Mundford and Northwold. These matches were classed as something special and almost all of the village would turn out to watch. During this time we were privileged to see some excellent RAF players, and an odd one or two did join the village team.
The late 1950s saw another very good team in: David Curtis, Cyril Arnold, Derek Willet, John Jacob, David Edwards, Nelson Gunstead, Dennis Vincent, Mike Cock, Stan Sutton Jnr, Roy Mason, Maurice Bytes, Charlie Swann, Doug Thompson, Mike Banham, Alan Carter, Danny Wortley, Colin Walker and Monty Curtis. These players had the pleasure of being in teams that won many trophies, but the "star prize' was the Norfolk Junior Cup in the 1958-59 season. This cup final was played at Carrow Road, Norwich. I had the honour of being captain for this match. We always had an end of season dinner dance when players, farmers and local business people, and their wives, of course, had an enjoyable evening celebrating. In the 1960s I was Secretary, Treasurer and Chairman of the Club, which I considered an honour. I managed to keep playing until I was 40 and I played with some excellent people. After the death of Mr John Storey, the Club President, I was invited to take the President's office and I accepted it gladly, feeling very honoured.
The Feltwell FC have, over the last 30 years, had an excellent man connected to the Club in Charlie Baker, who has been Chairman for 20 years and has kept the Club together. He was honoured by the King's Lynn League for his services to local football.
In the 1980s Feltwell yet again had a very good side, winning league and cup trophies. They won the Norfolk Primary Cup and once again played at Carrow Road. This event was very well supported with two bus loads of supporters going to watch. The team was: D Freeman, G Waters, J Fox, M Herrington, D Kean, D Gamble, S Cock, C Mills, M Butcher, R Secker, J Secker and M Brown, The present teams are fighting hard to give their supporters a good season and are still turning out two teams each week. With Charlie Baker still doing his duties and Derek Austin, the Club Secretary backing us up, we expect great things of our present teams.
Many people remarked on my account of Feltwell Football Club through the years and this has urged me on to do a little more. I did miss out some players names in the first piece about the Club. Most of these were 2nd XI players but were regular players and very good Club members. These players kept the Club going, filling in at the last minute and never grumbling. A few names that come to mind during 1945-50 are the Lemon brothers (Ken and Bill), Gordon and Ken Davidson, Billy Nichols, Maurice Pryer, Eric Pryer (secretary), Pip Wright, Allan and Ray Whitehand. In this era teams were competing in the Ouse Valley League and the Gentle Cup.
A few years on there were names like Bob Cooper, David and Derek Howes, Ted and David Benham, Eric Lawrence and retired headmaster Don Feltwell, who for many years was a regular reserve player and an inspiration tho the younger players. Allan Leslie was a good club secretary for several years and Arthur Green a fine goal keeper. There were the 4 Crane brothers, Derek and David Newport, John Sherman, Malcolm Fuller, Derek Smith, Pat Thompson, Charles Palfrey and Trevor and Frank Adams. David Brown captained the Reserve side and worked hard on the Committee. Frank Butcher was a St John's Ambulance man and our First Aid man; he travelled to away matches taking his 6 sons with him amd they all played for Feltwell in their time. Several players from Weasenham Farms played regularly, mostly single men who were billeted on the farm during and after the war. The prison camp at Whitedyke, which was later used for Displaced Persons from the Ukraine, had some excellent players and they were always asked to join the Club.
The Club always had a good secretary in Rodney Edwards; he was followed by Peter Johnson and the present secretary, Derek Austin. The late Tommy Breen, a Scotsman who was stationed at RAF Feltwell and later married a local girl and stayed on, was an outstanding goalkeeper. Two long-serving members are still playing: Dave Tew( who helped with the 2Xl), and Paul Bunko.
On to Frank Edwards' football memories.
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