Fenmen fans reflect on a rollercoaster history as Wisbech Town celebrates centenary year
- Credit: Archant
It’s been somewhat a rollercoaster of emotions for Wisbech Town Football Club fans over the past 100 years.
The club celebrated its centenary on Monday, June 15, which has been touted as #FENtenary on social media, where plans to mark the occasion have been spoilt due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Friendlies with the likes of professional sides, Peterborough United and Norwich City, were on the agenda, as well as a friendly match organised by Fenmen legend Jackie Gallagher featuring players past and present.
But club officials have assured players, coaches and supporters alike that, when it is safe to do so, a party like no other will be arranged in due course.
Spencer Larham, secretary at Wisbech Town FC, has been following the Fenmen for 25 years and has witnessed the club develop on and off the pitch.
“My first game was an FA Cup replay between Wisbech and Billericay,” he said.
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“A lot of people who started watching Wisbech moved to the area, some far from their original club.
“It’s weird how people get involved who don’t come from the area but start to get involved with the club.”
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After the merger of Wisbech Working Men’s Conservative Club, Park Works and St Joseph’s, Wisbech Town did not play their first game until September 1920, a 1-1 draw with Yaxley in a Peterborough League contest in front of around 1,500 fans at Fenland Park.
It’s believed over 5,000 players have worn Fenmen red during the club’s amateur and semi-professional history, enjoying the highs of finishing Midlands Division runners-up in the 1950s, to the lows of flirting with relegation in the Eastern Counties League.
June 15 also marked 10 years since Wisbech moved to the Elgoods Fenland Stadium, and from arriving at their new ground to suffering the wrath of Storm Ciara, Larham hopes to reflect on even more memorable moments.
“We lined up a friendly with Posh, but the problem there was we do not know even if we can have a friendly if anyone can watch it because that can attract a large crowd,” he said.
“I think we had quite a good reaction from what we tried to organise on Twitter in getting people to put their memories across.
“There may be supporters who probably went to every single game at Fenland Park as small children.
“Wisbech need to be like the Iceland of the Northern Premier League. We don’t have the best players, but we do have a good team.”
*Wisbech Town are planning to return to full training next month and are looking to play pre-season friendlies in August.