Saturday, 7 August 2010

Swaffham Town FC (England)

Swaffham Town are one of many Norfolk clubs who play in the famous black and white striped kit. Quite why the strip is so popular up that way is unclear, but still very welcome. At this point in their development they play in the Eastern Counties League - the tenth level of English football - where they have been for most of the last decade - although they first reach this level back in 1990.

Known locally as The Pedlars, they were formed in the tiny Norfolk town of Swaffham in 1892 - a place perhaps most famous for being the location for Steven Fry's Norfolk-based legal drama Kingdom - although they changed the name of the place to Market Shipborough for the series.

Back in 1959 they splashed out and bought the one and a half acre site that they turned into their Shoemakers Lane Ground, for a princely sum of £250, and built their first proper clubhouse on the site in 1967 after getting a loan from a local brewery for the building work. Recent years have seen them improve the facilities greatly, in the hope that they will eventually be able to work their way up the leagues on the pitch. But with many of the clubs at this level, most of the work is done on a volunteer basis by the fans, committee and players themselves. Fan involvement plays such an important part at this level, and it's the foundations that grassroots are built on. Good on 'em all!

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