Club History

The Minute Book of the Walsham-le-Willows and District Cricket club dates from 1897, by which time it was well established on the Summer Road Cricket Ground with its thatched pavilion. Almost certainly football was also being played in the village but unfortunately, records do not start to be kept until after the 1939-45 war when Walsham Le Willows Football Team was once again in action. Games at that stage had to be played on alternate meadows in the village as the Summer Road Ground had reverted to farmland during the war although the pavilion had survived. Football came back to Summer Rd in 1951.

In 1952 a decision was made to amalgamate Football and Cricket so the official life of the Walsham Le Willows Sports Club had begun. Both teams shared the ground in Summer Road with only a small stand erected adjacent to the football pitch whilst both teams had the use of the old pavilion which at some stage lost its thatch to be replaced with pantiles.

In 1974 a new pavilion with changing rooms and showers was built in the S.E. corner of the ground and the Club had started its march to what it is today. In 1978 the first extension to the clubhouse provided a bar area. Meanwhile, discussions had started with the Bowls club in the village High St as although they had a bowling green by the Victory Memorial Hall, they had no facilities and felt that the scope to get a pavilion built would be better under the Sports Club umbrella; which duly happened in 1980.

During the eighties, further extensions were made to the Clubhouse which enabled the housing of two snooker tables and an enlarged bar area. 1990/1 saw an important growth factor to the club with the first of the youth teams, a U11’s team featuring sons of the Club’s current chairman and treasurer.

Modern Day

Progress by the football team in 2004 to a higher league required improvements to the ground which encompassed floodlights, 100 seats stand and new changing rooms for players and officials in the clubhouse. In 2011, Club president, Richard Martineau, secured further land for the Club from a family trust on a 25-year lease which enabled the construction of three more grass football pitches, an artificial grass training pitch, and a tennis hard court that are both floodlit; it also enabled a significant increase in parking spaces. These additional facilities spurred a significant expansion for the provision of youth football, the introduction of walking football/netball, and other exercise activities. In 2016 a new pavilion was built to provide additional changing rooms and a top-of-the-range servery.

Back in 2008, the Club had been designated as a CASC (Community Amateur Sports Club) a formal requirement to establish legal leases on the land and buildings enabling the significant grants needed for the expansion. In 2019 a further process took place in turning the Club into a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) which then enabled our Landlords in an act of great generosity to terminate the leases and hand the freehold over to Walsham Le Willows Sports Club CIO.

Club Timeline

 

2020 Club lounge refurbishment £36,000 grant + crowdfunding


2019 Erection of 2 lane professional standard cricket nets. £21,400


2019 First event “Great Run Local”


2018 Trial/test event for “Great Run Local”


2018 Car parking extended by 40 spaces by converting grass to hard standing £ 1,500.00


2018 Erection of compound and machinery shed. £ 2,500.00


2018 added evening session of “Walking Netball”


2018 “All-Stars” cricket and ladies softball cricket


2018 “Walking Netball” started


Jan 2018 additional fencing added to comply with F. A. ground grading £ 3,500.00


2018 Quadraplay and verti drainer purchased £ 6,500.00


2017 additional 2 sessions of “Walking Football” added


2017 patio laid in front of clubhouse £ 5,100.00


2017 New Iseki 38hp tractor and progressive mower purchased £ 16,000.00


2017 Borehole installed to allow watering of whole site £ 10,000.00


2016 Car park resurfaced £ 5,179.00


2016 New changing rooms built on the main site £ 240,000.00


2016 Toilets installed on over the road site £ 10,000.00


2016 Sewage treatment plants installed on both sites costs included in above two prices


2016 “Walking football” started on Monday evenings


2013 Cricket club awarded ECB Kitemark.


2013 Comprehensive tree surgery completed at £ 5250.00 cost. Funded by village charities and private donations.


2012 Large branch down from 500-year-old Oak tree-decision to survey all trees


2012 New facilities increase teams to 15 football and 5 cricket and 29 tennis members. Weekly tennis coaching for children by a professional tennis coach.


2010 Development of 3 new grass pitches, car park and 50m x 30m artificial grass pitch and tennis court, both floodlit. Funded by Football Association, Football Foundation, Suffolk F.A. Local councils, and private donations.


2010 Patio and porch added to Bowls pavilion. Own funds.


2009 Cricket nets installed. Own funds and installed by the membership.


2009 Football club awarded the FA Charter Standard Community Club accreditation.


2008 Building of new stand. Funded by Football Stadia Improvement Fund and own club funds.


2006 Football club awarded Charter Standard.


2005 Clubroom refurbishment. Own funds and donations.


2005 Club extension built comprising new changing and officials rooms. Football Stadia Improvement Fund and own funds.


2004 Erection of floodlights to the main pitch. Funded by Football Stadia Improvement Fund.


2004 Installation of temporary changing rooms to meet league requirements.


1991 Under 11 football team first season, featuring Andrew Powles and Ned Campbell.


1990 Junior football section started. 3 teams.


1989 Extension to the bar area. Own funds.


1981 Snooker room built. Sports council and own funds.


1980 Bowls pavilion built. Council grant and own funds.


1978 Extension built to the pavilion to include a bar area. Own funds.


1973 Building of new pavilion including changing rooms, officials room including showers. Funded by Sports Council, Martineau Trust, local council, and own funds.


1952 Amalgamation of cricket and football clubs to form Walsham le Willows Sports Club.


1951 Football resumed playing on the current site.


1899 First pavilion built, originally thatched.


1897 The minute book for the Walsham & District Cricket Club records the management and accounts up until 1926, interestingly the President was Mr. J Martineau great grandfather of our current President Mr. Richard Martineau and a number of the committee have descendants still active in the club. This proves SUSTAINABILITY.