Framlingham Town make FA Cup history: Fans and former players enjoy the special day
- Credit: Archant
Against the perhaps nostalgic backdrop of Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made for Walkin’, captain James Mayhew led Framlingham Town FC onto the lush-green pitch and into the record books.
Despite the rain, 236 supporters turned out for the historic day at Badingham Road. The 130-year-old club was making its FA Cup debut, as were north-east London opponents Wadham Lodge and 19 other clubs around the country. Prize money of £1,500 was up for grabs in these extra preliminary round fixtures.
“It’s a massive, historic day for the club,” said chairman Dean Warner.
“All the people involved in the club deserve it – certainly the presidents who have been here for 50, 60 years.
“We are obviously not in it to win it. We are not going to be playing Arsenal at Wembley in the final, but we want to progress and make as much history as we can.”
Club president Brian Parker, a former striker who made his debut at the club in 1954, said: “It’s exciting, let’s face it. It’s really special for us. It is something we thought we would never achieve.”
“It’s a dream come true,” said life vice president Syd Vice. In his programme notes, he remarked that it was not true that he had been at the club for the past 130 years.
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In the stands were John and Joy Carr, of Framlingham, grandparents of Castleman players Josh Sprague, 22, Danny Smith, 20, and Charlie Smith, 18.
“They got a good night’s sleep – they were in bed by 10pm,” said John, a former Framlingham player himself in 1950s and 60s.
“I am very pleased for them. They have been very excited. It’s a special day and everyone is buzzing.”
Mark Dyer, 51, of Rendham, attended with wife Jacqueline and son Oliver Dyer, who is in Framlingham’s under-8s side.
“We might get on telly soon!” he said. “I was there when Sutton United beat Coventry (famously in the FA Cup third round in 1989). It’s something you carry around with you.”
He admitted a “small part” of him wished he was on the pitch.
Ed Sheeran, currently on tour in America, was not spotted hiding among fans. But he could still be heard – Thinking Out Loud followed Nancy Sinatra’s 1966 hit.
In the end, 10-man Framlingham had to settle for a scoreless draw.
The replay takes place on Wednesday night.