First it’s Ed Sheeran, now FA Cup fever hits Framlingham
It’s been a 130-year wait – but at last Framlingham Town will be gracing the FA Cup.
While local boy Ed Sheeran may have been grabbing all the Fram’ headlines in recent years, the football club have been quietly making headlines of their own.
Promoted to the Thurlow Nunn First Division, their seventh-placed finish last season meant they had qualified for the world’s oldest knock-out football cup competition – and on Saturday their long wait to take part in the FA Cup will be over.
Walthamstow-based Wadham Lodge will be the Castlemen’s visitors to Badingham Road (3pm kick-off) in an Extra Preliminary tie, and Framlingham manager Mel Aldis is delighted.
“Well, what can you say?” Aldis, who in three spells has been at the club 15 years, said.
“I’m thrilled for the town and especially many of the people here at the club who have done so much over the years. This is very much for them.
“People who have put time and effort into getting Framlingham Town to where it is now. It’s wonderful to see what it means to them.”
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The club were in the Suffolk & Ipswich League Division One three seasons ago.
But two promotions later they find themselves at Step 6 of the Football Pyramid, in the FA Cup, with the famous trophy on display at the ground today.
“To have the FA Cup at Badingham Road is unbelievable,” Aldis said.
“OK, so I think I can safely say we are not going to win it, but we don’t mind, this is a great showcase for us.
“We have lots of U18 players in our squad, who will be part of it. One of our players, Simon Poacher, has played for Fram’ since he was eight – he’s now 29 – and now set to play in the FA Cup.
“Apparently, as a club and when we were formed (1887), we have had the fifth-longest wait to play in the FA Cup. Let’s hope it’s not another 130 years before we reach it again!
“The town is buzzing.
“Someone stopped me the other day and said we were putting Fram on the map. But I think a certain Ed Sheeran may have done that already!
“We know little about Wadham Lodge and would rather not have a replay on Wednesday night in London.”
Entrance is £5 adults, £3 concessions, under-14s free.