The following is the text of a speech by Bob Barter at the dinner celebrating the Club's Centenary.
Elmswell Football Club was formed in 1907, the same year as the Bury and District League in which it entered a team together with the Stowmarket League; the club remained in the Bury League until 1987 winning on several occasions league division 1 and the Mick McNeil cup. Our finest achievement was reaching the primary cup final in 1957/58 season winning 6-2 V Nicholians. After winning several cups and league championships this prompted us to join the SILL in 1987-88 winning iv 3 and iv 8 in their first season; this was followed by gaining promotion to division 1 in 1989-90.
Our records go back to 1913, it seems that for a short time the club was disbanded as the records tell us that a meeting was called on August 29th 1913: there was a good attendance and Mr. Newton was elected chairman. A committee was elected and the Village Hall was chosen as headquarters.
Mr. Newton offered his meadow named Manns meadow free for the first year, Mr. Smith also offered his meadow free for important games, both offers were accepted with thanks.
Subscriptions were over 18 year 2/6 and under 18 1/3. Club colors were blue and white.
In 1919 the Rev Sayer became Chairman and Mr. Newton became president and meetings were then held in the church school, familiar names then came onto the committee such as Wade, Armstrong, Borley, Baker, Mulley. Club colours were then changed to black and amber. At the august meeting it was suggested to see Mr Pye to ask if the club could use his meadow and to approach the station master re fixing the gate for entrance which was used up to the 1970’s 1 dozen jerseys in black and amber were bought for £3, a white Sweater for 15/6 and 2 balls for £2.6.0d.
A committee meeting held at the station waiting room on August 30th 1920 where a proposal was for adult spectators would be charged 4d including tax and under 14’s 2d and the groundsman to be payed 2/6 for each home game. It was agreed The Lion would be the headquarters and dressing room for the next season, new nets were puchased from Frank Sugg Ltd from London for £4. 10.0. Mr Beer proposed that a meeting to be called on 3rd September at the Lion to arrange for a second 11 to run as reserves and a whist drive to be arranged to raise funds.
The AGM on August 10th 1921 was held at The Lion Public House by permission of Mr Balls, The lion was later Cattons Garage and is now a private house opposite the Mace.
It was decided to hold a dinner on Friday june 2nd 1922 at 7.30, to celebrate the winning of the Stowmarket & District League tickets were 3/6, the secretary was instructed to order 70 tickets from Mr Hawes. Mr Pye would be asked to present the medals (Stowmarket & District League) to the Players, it was decided that the cup to be displayed in Mr Jacobs window during the day and taken out at night until june 2nd it would then be presented to Mr Pye by Mr Ainsworth at the dinner for him to keep until next season. 19 medals were presented to Aldous, Armstrong, C Armstrong, F Baker,Bevan, Buckle, Fenton, Frost, Leggett, Manning, Mathews, Miller, Morley, Piper, Smith, Sparrow, Thurlow and Wade. This we believe is the first trophy Elmswell won. The 1922-1923 season was matches played 38, won 30, lost 4 drew 4. Goals for 134 against 43, this did not include the match against the rest of stow & district league which was won by Elmswell 2-1. Elmswell finished 3rd in the Bury & District league in the same year. The following year they won the Stowmarket and District League again.
In the minutes of October 5th 1926 the players all complained of the terrible way the match was conducted by the referee, after hearing the facts Mr Frost said he should not be surprised if he (the referee) was not unaffiliated referee, after a short discussion it was decided to report the matter to the league.
It seems that Mr Pye passed on as it is recorded that a wreath had been sent, New president and chairman was thr Rev Sayer was given a vote of thanks for the use of his meadow for the mext season, The team winning the Bury and District Knockout Cup and the Gratix Cup.
August 1932 a meeting at the church school was called to elect a new headquarters as the Lion was closing down. Railway Tavern and Fox Hotel were proposed but as the innkeeper at the Fox had not been approached the Railway Tavern was chosen.
The following season the team were successful in winning the Gratix Charity Cup, Beyton Nursing Cup and Bury and District League Div 3.
1936/37 was another successful season in winning the Lillistone Hospital Sheild for the first time, the Woolpit cup for the second time and finishing 3rd in division 2 of the Bury and District league.
Names on the committee for the 38/39 season are becoming more familiar with Baker. Armstrong, Leggett, Ayres, Farrow, Mulley, Read, Stiff, V Wade and Finch. (I didn’t realise the Roy was that old)
1946, Mr Kemp was going to plough up Park Field so Miss Pye was approached for the use of her meadow again, Miss Pye in a letter to the club said that as the club had the use of the meadow of and on for 25 years it seemed to have benn long enough time for the club to enjoy the only field suitable for the game. The season started at cooks road but as it became waterlogged they asked if they could use Park Field again but was refused by the Rev Harborne therefore could not complete the home fixtures that season.
July 47, The club could not have Park Field or Pyes meadow and cooks road was unsuitable so the 47/48 season looked bleak and looked that the club may have to fold. The Secretary Mr Elliston and Mr Wade approached Mr J miles of Gt Ashfield asking if he would allow the team to play on his meadow in Grove Lane which I believe to be on the opposite side of the road to the current Grove Lane pitches. Mr Miles agreed so the club continued.
During 1948 most of the meetings were held at 10 Wetherden Road the home of Mr & Mrs Vic Wade.
June 1951, It appears that Miss Pye had changed her mind and became president of the club and allowed the use of the meadow again.
1953 Finished 4th in the Bury & District League and won the Pakenham Cup.
1954/55 the first mention of the Salmons and Burches, Captain of 1st team C Salmon and Captain of the Minors R Burch.
1956/57 Saw the 1st team winning promotion from Div 2 to Div 1 runners up behind Mumford and the Res getting to the final of the Vincent Cup Elmswell were winning 5-1 at half time, Stanton pulled level by 90 minutes to 5-5, into extra time and Stanton went ahead for the first time with seconds left of extra time Stan Howe equalised, no penalties in those days so the cup was shared equally over the next season.
Committee for 57/58 were chairman E Salmon, Sec/ treasurer Vic Wade, Capt 1st L Hurst, Vice C Moore, Capt Res H Mulley, Vice G Weatherill, other committee members included Eric King. This was a special season for the club, winning the Suffolk Primary Cup for the first time beating Nicholians 6-2, the 1st team also came second in the Bury & District League Div 1 and runners up in the League Knockout Cup, Brandom Town Street pipping us each time.
58/59 season 5 trophies were won, The Haughly Cup, Gratix Charity Cup, the Res won League knockout cup and league runners up cup and best of all the sportsmanship cup the first time this trophy had been awarded in the village league.
59/60, Winners of Div 1 and K O cup
60/61 Not all glory, withdrew the Res from the league and 1st team finshed bottom of Div 1 and were relegated.
AGM 18th July 1963, The chairman proposed that a gift of £2 guineas be given to Herbert Mulley who had worked with unending effort to sell the football tickets to raise money for the club, This was heartily supported by every one present, Herbert returned the money to the club as a vice presidnet donation, and Herbert is still selling tickets today some 45 years on, thank you Herbert.
AGM 1964 this brings us more up to date with more of you present this evening, Chairman Mr R Filby, Vice Chair Colin Wade, Secretary Vic Wade, Treasurer Cecil Salmon, 1st team capt David Rooney, Vice capt D Hunt, Capt 2nds Herbert Mulley, Vice capt M Piper.
The Agm of july 1967 saw the resignation of Vic Wade as secretary he was duly thanked for his time and efforts over the years in helping the club for many years. Keith Rooney was voted in as secretary with Mr Filby to assist him
1967/68 season saw the 1st team win Div 2 bury & district league. The secretary was to write to Capt Britt asking him to attend the Fox to present the trophy and placques.
Agm july 1969, saw another good season with the 2nd team winning between them the Lavenham junior and minor cups, finalists in the suffolk junior cup losing to Finningham 4-0, runners up in Div 1 and the Res winning promotion to Div 3, Herbert Mulley was also thanked for his help for Donny Finch who had broken his leg during the season.
AGM june 1970 found Vic Wade taking part with the club again but Colin Wade decided not to continue with being secretary, Colin Plowright was voted in as sec with the help of Vic Wade. 1st team capt Ray Brown, vice capt Keith Rooney, Res capt David Royal with Tony Stiff as vice capt. This season saw the 1st team winning the bury 1st division while behind the scenes there were problems with pitches again, Miss Pye was pleased that the club had agreed to her rules and that the meadow could be used for the next season. Votes of thanks were given to Peter & Joyce Hunt from the Fox for there help in the clubs organisation.
An extraordinary meeting was called at the Fox on 7th Fabruary 1972to discuss the injury to Roy Finch at the match with Walsham on the 5th Feb, he was taken to Bury Hospital and on that evening he had a kidney removed, naturally with such a serious injury there was concern for Roy and his young family, it was felt that the club should make a big effort to help Roy and his family financially as it was hazy regarding his fitness for employment. The 71/72 season was also a first with there being no bookings or sendings off during the season. Mr Walker the secretary made special mention of past secretaries Vic and Colin Wade, Colin Plowright, Mr Walker wanted the club to know that the club records and paperwork handed over to him by Colin Plowright was in first class order and had guided the club through a difficult season in 70/71 which gace a good foundation for 71/72.
72/73 season saw the election of David Royal as secretary, in August 72 David called a meeting to obtain permission to make a donation to Mr Utting vice-chair of the Bury & District league on behalf of Capt Brit who has completed 25 years as league secretary a figure of £2 was proposed and seconded. During the season we lost to Cranes Sports 2-0 in the Minor Cup
This part of the 70’s saw now very familar faces who are with us tonight, Roy and Donny Finch who both did much fund raising along with Paul Peachey, David Rooney, Ray Brown and the Bendall’s.
1974/75 saw a successful season winning the Fass Shield, Walsham Cup and the 2nd Division Knock out cup
1975/76 we had another new face as vice captain of the res in Barry Hayward, during that season David Royal resigned as secretary and David Rooney took over the post. and we also lost to Alan Road 3-2 in the junior cup.
Another new face entered the records at the 1976 agm in Bobby Rice and offered his mothers services to wash the reserve teams kit, I wonder if his Mum has forgiven him yet, Bobby has over recent years been very successfull in managing the Taverners Sunday side winning the league and cup doubles on several occassions, taverners have made Ram Meadow there second home
1977/78 the first team finished third in the league and the reserves won the Wilkin Shield and the vincent cup.
1978/79 saw the club leave Pyes Meadow and move to the new ground which is now the primary school. The first team won the 1st division knock out cup and the Gough cup and the second 11 won the vincent cup again and were runners up in the Wilkin shield. The Sunday team finished 4th.
1980/81 saw the first sponsor for a kit and it hoped for the kit to last 3 years the sponsor being Kerwood after permission from the F A and the Bury & District League, David Rooney was thanked for his efforts in getting the de
Tha AGM for 80/81 reported that the first team finished 3rd, reached semi-final of the knock out cup and won the Mick Mcneil Cup. There was 1 player who played all the games, Peter Smith. Leading goal scorers were brian bendall and whitehouse with23 goals each, B Salmon was voted player of the year with Chris Sadler being Young Player. Brian Bendall and M Whitehouse were selected for the leagues representative team in which Brian scored two goals. The Reserves had an average season, Trevor Conway scoring 7 and Micky worger voted player of the year. The Sunday team won the first Division for the first time. Two everpresent players were Charlie Leggett and Wink Peachey. Again Roy Finch had another outstanding year fund raising.
1981/82 season saw the first team win the Bury & District league beating Barrow by 1 point, the reserves had another average season. The two Sunday teams had a good season with the first team finishing second in div 1, the reserves in their first season had received a remarkable double by winning the 4th division knock out cup and the league championship. At the AGM in june Mr Nevil Howes resigned as secretary but would continue until a new one could be found.
An extra Ordinary general meeting was held at the Fox Hotel on 26th July 1982 when a new boy in town offered his services to be secretary, he outlined his previous experiences as secretary for 12 years with Speediset, His name David Young I actually played in Davids team.
In November 1982 we had an approach from Felixstowe Town for Steven Death but Steven turned them down. This was also the time when Suffolk Couty Council were in the process of selling the playing field for building and the club was under the threat of having to move from the field and possibly not then being able to fulfill their fixtures.
In Eary 1983 Elmswell went on tour to Holland playing two games over a weekend drawing the first 0-0 and winning the second 2-0 with goals from clive alsop and spot roper. One part of this trip I cant quite understand is that dickie burch went didn’t play yet was on a hat trick. During the 82/83 season the first team won the first division championship for the second season running, winning the fass shield and runners up in the mick mcneil cup. David Rooney reported that the Saturday Res finished runners up to Westgate Brewery in Div 2. Paul Peachey reported that the Sunday 1st team finished fourth in the league and were runners up to Cockfield in the Jubilee Cup. Paul went on to say that the Sunday Res narrowly missed promotion by 1 point.
Paul Peachey informed the committee that he would be resigning his position as the Sunday secretary at the end of the season after 8 years.
At a committee meeting on 1st August 1983 a letter was read out from Gary Stevens in which Gary thanked Elmswell for the good wishes he received before the FA Cup final, he wished Elmswell good luck for the coming season.
September 1983 Mike Winter gave a report on the under 13’s he had formed saying they had played some friendlies but needed some coaching before the season started. Mike reported in january 1984 that the boys had won more matches than they had lost so this was the start of Elmswell youth. Mike then went on in April to say that the boys had finished 4th in the league and thought that it would be possible to run an under 14’s next season as well as an under 13’s but this would depend on the ground situation as the club was still battling for a new ground along with the cricket club.
1983/84 season ended with the first team finished 3rd in Div 1 behind Fornham Youth and Northbury, won the Elmswell Challange Shield, and St Edmunds (1965) Cup and semi final of the Mick Mcneil cup with clive allsop scoring 24, spot roper 18, Bryan Bendall 15, Bryan Salmon 13 and Dully Rennett 12. David Rooney reported the Reserves had there best season ever by finishing runners up in Div 2, runners up in the Cockfield Cup and winning Division 2 knock out cup. David also announced that he would be leaving the club, the committee thanked him his efforts with the club and wished him good luck in his new venture.
The Sunday teams did not go so well with the first team getting relegated and the Reserves just missing relegation by 1 place.
A committee meeting on 5th November 1984 the secretary reported on the death of Micky Worger in an accident at work also the passing of Mr Ron Laflin a friend of Elmswell F C and West Suffolk Junior Rep.
A meeting in december reported that a collection had raised £150 for Sue Worger Micky’s Widow and David Royal asked if the money he raised during his Ipswich marathon run could be used to buy a new trophy for the Saturday Reserve Team Player of the Year and called the Micky Worger Trophy, Sue had given her blessing, the committee agreed and David was to select the trophy.
The AGM in June 1985 from the secretary’s report he mentioned the death of Totty Castell in a motor accident who was a loyal worker for the club and also the accident for Micket Worger who had won the reserve team player of the year 3 times in a row.
The first team reached 3 semi finals in the fass shield, mick mcneil cup and snailwell cup and also reached the final of the walsham cup, this was the first season of Billy Emberson and Dick Buch together as a management team. The reserves alsodid well with a new manager in Barry Hayward finishing second in the league for the third year running also winning the Cockfield Cup and losing to Barber Greene on penalties in the Wilkin Shield. The Sunday team which played at Norton with great help from Roy Finch and Bobby Rice finished 7th in the league, Knock out cup semi finals and quarter finals of the Suffolk Sunday Shield.
April 1987 saw us being expelled from the Bill Utting cup for fielding 3 senior players namely Paul Drummond,Clive Allsop and Ali Leeks, with this the secretary resigned from the TSB management committee as they also did not wish him to report in the Bury Free Press anymore. The secretary then reported on a phone call he had with George Whytt from the Ipswich League and it was suggested that the time was right to apply to join the Ipswich League.
AGM for the end of season 1986/87 saw the club reach the final of the junior cup losing 4-1 to Woodbridge Town, runners up to Fornham Youth Club in Division 1 and winning the Walsham cup new players coming into the team like ~Peter Hughes, Stuart Fuller and Steve Moye who was an ever present during the season and winning player of the year. With all this going on there was a lot of work going into preparing the new ground at Grove Lane in removing stones and setting grass seed for the approaching season. Local villages like Norton, Wetherden, Rougham and Pakenham had been asked if we could use there pitches if ours was not ready.
During the 87/88 season saw Neville Bendall starting a youth team the first game not going to well losing 10-0 to Thurston in a friendly, Neville said that he had approached the Thetford league to enter 2 teams. The 1987/88 season saw all 3 mens teams winnig their respective league’s, Saturday first team winning Ipswich league Div3, Reserves Div 8 and the Sundays winning Bury & District Div 2 also runners up in the league cup and semi-finalists in the Sunday Shield. the club was also voted Junior Club of the Year by the SIL
At a general committee meeting in April 1989 the secretary is to send a letter to Terry Southgate congratulating him on his appointment as referee for the coming Primary Cup Final, a telegram is alsoto be sent to Adrian Dobbie Hunt to be received at Wembley before Sudbury’s forthcoming game.
At the AGM in June 1990 both managers of the saturday teams were satisfied with finishing 7th in there leagues division 1 and division 7 respectivly. Later that month at the SIL AGM David young was presented with the Mick Mcneil Gaintkillers Cup on behalf of Elmswell this was reward for defeating BT Reasearch and narrowly losing to Needham Market, the cup was presented by Keith Wood a league trustee.
In the early 90’s the only problems were not just having problems with pitches at grove lane and the new pitch at the blackbourne but we lost our headquarters at the fox which was closed for refurbishment so the AGM for the 90/91 was held at the Bacon factory social club. At the start of the season there was a testimonial match for Bryan and Phil Bendall who between them had played for Elmswell for 40 years.(there are programes of the match on display) £300 was raised during the match which was donated to west suffolk hospital for the baby unit. The secretary was pleased that Andy Taylor transfered to Haughley as this would mean less paperwork due to Andy’s disiplinary record. Nevill Bendall said the youth section had a good season with more teams coming on for next year bringing the total of different age groups to 11’s 13’s and 15’S.
November 1992 Malcolm Bendall said that he was not to happy with a player who refused to play for the reserves prefering to play for the A team as it was his favorite TV programme and it was agreed that barry hayward and dave galley would have a word with the player concerned Gary Warby.
It was brought up at a meeting that we had been fined 4 times for not phoning in the result on time and so far had cost £24, it was agreed at the meeting for the secretary to write to the SIL requesting a longer time span of another phone line. A response from the league was they are the rules and we makes lots of money from them.
The 1992/93 season saw the first team relegated from division 1, the reserves and A team finishing mid table. The youth teams had good season with 11’s finishing 4th and reaching two semi finals managed by paul peachey of which several are now are first team. Under 13’s struggled a bit as some were of under 12 age group, under 15B also struggled as again some were under 14 and 15A reached the cup semi final.
1993/94 Saw the first team promoted back to div 1 runners up to Kesgrave with brian and phil at the helm, the 2 terry’s in southgate and warby did a good job with the reserves and a more difficult job with the A team fell on the shoulders of barry hayward and steve cox with our president then in vic wade watching most saturday afternoons Terry Southgates highlight was watching the first team V’s Stowupland when 7 reserves were in the side. The youth teams for next year had new managers in Neville Howes under 13’s, Ray Ellis under 14 s and Mike Fenner under 16 s.
1994/95 saw the first team stay in div 1 the only trophy was the george rice cup won by the reserves under the guidance of barry and andy taylor, the A team also had a good season just missing promotion
1995/96 the first team were relegated from div 1 the managers felt that some players did not give enough to the club, ali leeks said the res started well but fell away towards the end on the season, the A team also started well but falling away due to call ups from the res, again under the guidance of Neville Bendall the youth section had another good season .
The 1996/97 was a poor season saw all 3 teams relegated but the lads were kept going by Helen, Pam, Tony and carol for making match day refreshments for another season. It was decided to drop the A team for the coming season as it a two bigger strain on the club the youth section of 11 s 12 s and 15 s did well again, the 12 s finishing 4th and the 15s 3rd and semi finalists in the suffolk minor cup.
The summer school started by Paul Drummond and Andy Taylor started of well with the help of barry hayward and a few others it was for 5 to 9 year old boys and girls, as the sessions progressed some evenings there were in excess of 140 children involved. At the end of the holidays there was a presentation which all of the children from the summer school were presented with medals which were presented by Matt Holland and Jamie Scowcroft
October 1998 Dick Burch said that if the ball went into the hedge that barry should not go a find it as he should be watching the someone else should, in the meantime he would ask the owner to cut it down, whilst still on his high horse, dick said that all three sets of goal posts were a disgracew and needed painting immediately. Roy finch replied that he would attend to it before next meeting if not he would buy Dick a pint.
It was on 14th April 1999 we lost a great competitor who played both football and cricket for Elmswell and then moved onto refereeing in Carl Finch
The 1999 AGM saw a new chairman in Barry Hayward by saying it was a position of honour and thanked Herbert Mulley fo his 30 odd years, the first team just avoided relegation with the help of Ian Giles and Dean Scase but the reserves under the misguidance of myself got relegated. the youth teams of 11s 12 s and 14 s had fairly good seasons
1999/2000 the first team finished 3rd in Div 3 under the control of Dean Scase and Keith Hammond, Liam Steward at 14 scoring goals for fun and the reserves finished mid table after a shakey start with jamie Barter playing in goal also at 14 with the wise old head of Dale Finch in front of him. The youth section planed to have 5 teams of different age groups.
2000/2001 1st team won division 3 under Keith and Dean with the reserves missing promotion by 1 point, the youth teams did not do so well during the season and it was also the time when neville gave up the youth secretary’s position after 14 years.
2001 season saw the club start an A team in the Bury & District league with Jim Macmillan as manager and a change at the helm of the 1st team with Adi Garnham taking over with the help of Tom Price.
The AGM in 2002 had the first team finish mid table in Div 2, Reserves in bottom half of Div 5 but got to the semi final of the orwell cup losing 3-0 to dennington and the A team having a very good season with Jim and young lads. It was at the end of the season we lost gib Rudling in a car crash. At the end of the season David Youngs retired as general secretary after 22 years.
2003/04 the first team were relegated back to Div 3 and the then manager tim nice resigned which left us short of managers, A team was disbanded and Maurice Hart had taken over the reins as reserve team manager, The start of season 04/05 I would suspect that Elmswell had the youngest 1st team managers in the SIL, Adam Lomax at 23 and Jamie Barter at 20 what they didn’t have in experience they have in enthusiasm. In there first season the team finished fourth in there second season promotion, runners up to Parkside, Well done. The aim is to progress and eventually get this club where it belongs into senior football. We were the first from the Bury & District League to join the Ipswich league, we have been overtaken by Walsham, Stanton, Cockfield, St Edmunds 65, Thurston and we have just caught up to Sporting 87.
At this point I would like to thank the representatives from the FA SIL Bury & District and bury referees for attending this evening.
And to end with we also have we believe our oldest player in Stan Howe who scored the equalising goal against stanton and he tells me that when he was in the navy and his ship docked in Malta the team called Floriana used to contact the captain asking for ginger to play for them, this team is quite often in the European competitions.
A few photographs - I will be delighted to hear of others that villagers may have stashed away!