Thursday, 17 February 2011

Ipswich Wanderers

13 March 2010
Ipswich Wanderers 1  March Town United 2
Eastern Counties League, Division One
Attendance: 39
View all photographs (73)

A relatively young club, Ipswich Wanderers FC originated as an under-14 boys' team in 1980. Eight years later, as Loadwell Ipswich FC the club was a founder member of Division One of the Eastern Counties League and in 1989 changed its name to Ipswich Wanderers FC.

The SEH Sports Ground in Humber Doucy Lane on the outskirts of Ipswich is gloriously ramshackle and in many ways a quintessential non-League venue, maintained by the hard work of a small but loyal group of volunteers. Blue and white painted corrugated iron predominates but the club can at least boast spectator cover on three sides. The oldest structures are the small seated stand and now disused dugouts on the near side of the pitch. Of particular interest are the wooden seats in the former, salvaged from Ipswich Town's Portman Road home and complete with erstwhile sponsors' name plates.

With their Football League neighbours at home, the usually small crowd was even sparser than usual for the visit of March Town United but the club officials were in good spirits and very welcoming, with tongues firmly in cheeks as I was asked not to photograph any of the dents! Whilst some might ridicule such a venue, for me it represents an antidote to the bland concrete 'bowl' and is emblematic of what 'real' non-League football is all about; a far cry from the exorbitance of the Premier League.

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