Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Sixty years of goals, fouls, celebrations, commiserations and camaraderie will be re-lived at a Thorpe St Andrew football club next month.
Officials at St Andrews Football Club are planning to mark the club’s 60th anniversary with a reunion on Saturday, August 16 and are hoping for former players, committee members, sponsors and supporters to join their celebrations.
The four-time Norfolk Senior Cup winners have been members of the Anglian Combination top tier for all but two of the past 44 seasons – finishing 10th in the 16-team Premier Division in the last campaign.
Chairman Eddie Jack has just finished his first season in charge of St Andrews and is looking to build for the future.
“We’ve got a good clubhouse and really good people who are there every weekend supporting the club, from guys putting the nets up to the ones making the teas and coffees at half-time. It all goes to make a well-run club,” Mr Jack said.
The club has never been able to take the next step up and join the Eastern Counties League as the club’s suburban location has prevented them from installing floodlights, which is a minimum requirement for Step Six of the non-league football pyramid.
But the reunion has a more pressing concern which the club’s senior figures are hoping will help them.
“Our changing rooms are in desperate need of re-doing, they don’t meet the current standard for Step Seven criteria so we have got to spend £70,000 to bring them up to standard,” Mr Jack continued.
“The FA are going to fund a big chunk of that, but we have got to fund somewhere in the region of £20,000 and, like most clubs, we haven’t got £20,000 knocking around.
“At the club’s 50th reunion we had a donation box which raised an awful lot of money, so we will have one of those again for the 60th reunion.
“For a lot of people this will be the first time they’ve seen each other since the 50th, so the idea is that people will come up for a barbecue, a catch up and a drink.
“Martin Street, one of the founder members of the club will have old photos and a scrap books for old players to look through and we’ll have a marquee up on the side of the building, so we’re expecting anything between 100 and 150.”
Mr Jack has ben involved with the club for over five years and currently manages the under-16 side, which his son James plays for.
He added: “We have youth teams from under-12 up to under-16 and the club has recently amalgamated with Thorpe United Ladies, which brings from under-sevens up to ladies, who play in the Norfolk Women’s League.
“So we’ve got lots of good things going on at the club.
“I finish as coach of the under-16s after this season and I’m looking to take the team into the under-19s league because there are only two lads in the current first team who are Thorpe lads.
“So I would like to try and push through some lads to the under-19s and then the senior side from there.”
The reunion will also provide the opportunity to remember St Andrews’ stalwart Ian Bishop, who died in November after a long illness.
Mr Bishop was a former player and secretary of the club for over 30 years, who also served on the Anglian Combination committee and became chairman of the Norfolk FA.
The reunion will start at 7pm in the clubhouse. For more details, call Mr Jack on 01603 435147 or 07831 497703, or Miles Fish on 01603 461535.