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The History Of The Club

The History Of The Club


The club was established in 1884 and played their first match against Lynn Alexandria, winning 2–1. They initially played at Hempton Green, with over 2,000 spectators in the ground to see a match against Holt in a match played on a Good Friday.

They moved to Star Meadow (now residential houses) in 1889, and then to Baron's Hall Lawn (houses again now) in 1907, a ground that was shared with the local cricket club. Cover and seating for spectators was provided by 'The Shed', a stand behind the goal at the Town End. In 1899–1900 they won the Norfolk Junior Cup, a feat repeated in 1905–06. In the early 1900s the club joined the Norwich & District League.

After World War I they did not rejoin the league until 1921–22 and in 1935 they moved up to the Norfolk & Suffolk League. When the league merged with the East Anglian League to form the Anglian Combination in 1964, Fakenham were placed in the top division for the 1964–65 season, but were relegated at the end of the 1965–66 season then taking 5 seasons before returning to the top flight.

In 1970–71 they won the Norfolk Senior Cup for the first time. They have subsequently gone on to win the trophy 7 times, the most recent being 1999 when they beat Swaffham Town

Floodlights were eventually installed in 1987 at Baron’s Hall Lawn, and in 1988 Fakenham became a Founder members of Division One of the Eastern Counties League but when the club was promoted to the Premier Division in 1992 they were given three years to find a new ground or be relegated as the ground didn’t meet the required standards.

In 1996 the club moved to a new ground on the edge of the town named Clipbush Park, which was officially opened with a match against Watford on 16 July 1997, attracting a crown of over 1,100, although the first match there had been on 12 October 1996 when they defeated Tiptree United 4–0.
The ground includes a seated stand on one side of the pitch seating 250, a clubhouse on the other, and covered standing behind both goals.

After finishing as Premier Division Runners-Up in 1998–99, the club went into decline, and was relegated back to Division One in 2003–04, finishing bottom of the table. In 2005–06 they won the Division One Knock-Out Cup, but a slump in league form saw them finish bottom of Division One in 2008–09 and 2009–10. After more lean years, the club were promoted back to the Premier Division in 2014 and times seemed to be on the up when the team reached the Senior Cup final in 2017 but lost 2-0 to Kings Lynn Town. The see-saw continued with relegation at the end of the 2017-18 season to the newly formed Division One North.

The story of the Reserve Team has almost been a mirror image of the First Team with an almost terminal decline in the last ten years followed by back-to-back promotions into Senior Football in Division One of the Anglian Combination and a first trophy for many years defeating Brandon Town to win the Cyril Ballyn Trophy in 2018.

The Club now boasts a Ladies Team, a newly formed Veterans Team, an U18 Team, 2 Adult Teams and 18 Youth Teams and have become a Charter Standard Community Club. All this is far away from what was envisaged when the club was formed all those years ago.

• Eastern Counties League
o Division One Knock-Out Cup winners 2005–06

• Anglian Combination
o Division One champions 1971–72
o Senior Knock-Out Cup winners 1978–79

• Norfolk Senior Cup
o Winners 1970–71, 1972–73, 1973–74, 1991–92, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1998–99

• Norfolk Junior Cup
o Winners 1899–1900, 1905–06

• Best FA Cup performance: First qualifying round, 1999–2000, 2001–02
• Best FA Vase performance: Third round, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2005–06
• Record attendance:
o At Hempton Green: 2,000 vs Holt
o At Baron's Hall Lawn: 1,100 vs Norwich City, friendly, 29 September 1987
o At Clipbush Park: 2,000+ vs Norwich City, friendly July 2006