Last Updated: 28 May, 2016
Walsham Le Willows FC
WALSHAM LE WILLOWS FOOTBALL CLUB HISTORY
The Meadow has been the home of the village football and cricket clubs going back to the late 1800s and the old pavilion still survives on the far side of the ground, originally this had a thatched roof and water was carried across to it by bucket and then a two wheeled hand water cart was pulled across by the players. With no electricity in the original building changing could be somewhat hazardous after the game on a cold December Saturday.
Football and cricket were both played at the present ground in Summer Road until the outbreak of war when the field was ploughed up to provide land suitable to grow food on.
There is some confusion regarding the road that the ground stands on to this day because the signs erected by the highways authority show different names at each end of the road, Sumner Road at the main road and Summer Road at the village end.
Football started up again after the war and was played at Grove Road in the village from 1947 and the club competed in the Bury & District league Division 2. A new pitch was developed on Gallents Meadow in Ixworth Road and used from1948 to 1951 (the reserve side was formed in 1949 to compete in the Bury village league) when the club moved back to its present site after the generosity of the Martineau family provided the grass seed to reseed the field.
Originally the pitch was across the field but upon the resumption of football at the meadow the direction of the pitch was changed to allow a new cricket square to be laid in the centre of the field. The thatched pavilion was still in use and the additions of calor gas for lighting and a calor gas boiler for tea making improved the facilities for everyone.
The amalgamation of the cricket and football clubs in 1952 then formed Walsham le Willows Sports Club.
The original football stand was built in the 1950s with the new pavilion in 1973, mains electricity was added at this time and the addition of a bar and lounge area followed soon after with the snooker room, kitchen and car park added the following year.
The clubs teams have participated in the Bury & District league, Bury Village league, Stowmarket league, Suffolk & Ipswich league and now the Ridgeons league. As a junior side the club won the Suffolk Junior cup three years running in 87-88, 88-89, and 89-90 after being beaten finalists in 73-74. Numerous Bury and district titles and cups were won before entering the Suffolk & Ipswich league in 89-90, promotion to the senior league was achieved in that season and was quickly followed by relegation before we established ourselves as a senior side in 97-98 by finishing in 4th position. League positions then went 3rd and 4th with the league knock out cup being won in both seasons. Current manager Paul Smith was appointed for the following campaign and the league record then went 4th, 1st,1st and 2nd with one league knock out cup victory.
Season 2004-05 was our first in the Ridgeons league and we finished 4th with our first ever Suffolk Senior cup final appearance at Portman Road. The following season cup success was achieved at Portman Road by winning the Suffolk Senior cup in a thrilling extra time 4-3 victory over Capel Plough. A creditable 5th position was achieved in the league and our first ever appearance in the F A Cup. The installation of floodlights, new changing rooms and the 100 seat stand give us a facility to be proud of and in season 06-07 we became champions of Division One after exiting all cup competitions early.
This is our seventh season in the Ridgeons Premier. During 2011 the club achieved the FA
Charter Standard Community Club Award, the main pitch has been drained to improve the playing surface and a new Sunday side was formed.
The recent development over the road of 3 new pitches, car park, tennis court and artificial grass pitch 50m x 30m was completed in 2012 and provides us with some of the best facilities in the area.
Season 2012 – 13 was our best ever in the Eastern Counties League Premier division with a position of 6th place and with plans for a further set of changing rooms in the pipeline we hope that we can continue to progress.
WALSHAM LE WILLOWS FOOTBALL CLUB HONOURS
Chell Trophy Winners Walsham Reserves 2013-2014
Suffolk Senior Reserve Cup Winners Walsham Reserves 2013-2014
Chell Trophy Runners-up Walsham Reserves 2012-2013
Walsham Sundays Division 3 Champions and KO Cup Winners 2012-2013
Walsham Sundays Division 4 KO Cup Runners up 2011-2012
Hospice Charity Plate Winners Walsham Reserves 2011-2012
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PLAYER SPONSORSHIP NOW AVAILABLE FOR SEASON 2014/2015
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The youth section are currently running teams from under 8 to under 18 age groups......if you are looking for a team to join or would like to set up a team then please contact:
Youth Vice Chairman Scott Patternoster 07411 355091 firstname.lastname@example.org