BARSHAM FOOTBALL CLUB - 1948 – Present
Barsham was founded in 1948 as a minor’s team with fixtures against Beccles, Bungay, Hulver, Aldeby, Kirby Cane, Bungay Sea Scouts and Beccles Youth club. In 1949 Barsham had 20 playing vice presidents.
In 1954 Barsham entered the Raveningham & District League, the following year they joined the Lowestoft & District League, in which they still play, having just gained promotion to the first division.
Because of the two leagues Barsham formed a reserve team in 1956; it finally disbanded in at the end of the 1976 season, whilst both sides were still playing home games on the Barsham Paddock (Also known as the Barsham bowl) with a tree hanging over the bottom goal.
Although Barsham had a committee in the early years, the first known recorded AGM was in 1956. Mr Denis Sporle (better known as Henry) being the chairman. In 1957 he took over as Treasurer a position he held until 1991, when he was elected president, a position he still holds.
Henry played for the club from 1948 until 1978. He has been a regular spectator since that time at both home and away games.
Jack Sayer joined the club as a player in 1956 and played regularly until 1979, hanging his boots up at the age of 55. In 1962 he took the role of secretary on a temporary basis for one year, finally stepping down in 1992 when he was made Honorary Vice president.
Rod Cooper (Big Rod) is the present Chairman is he joined the club in 1971 as a player and became chairman in 1974. He stopped playing at the end of the 1986 season at the age of 48, his last game being against Southwold Reserves. Rod played as a twin striker with his son Buster. He is still a regular supported of the club and occasionally acts as linesman.
Other Long Serving Players-
Peter Cook joined Barsham in 1974 as a player and towards the end of his playing career had the pleasure of playing in the same Barsham team as his son Shaun. Before Peter hung up his boots he became team manager for two seasons.
Keith Hudson joined Barsham in 1976 as a player; he ran the team for several years as player / manager before becoming the club Secretary, a post he still holds. He now normally runs the line unless the side is short, which means he still plays from time to time.
Mike Ellis joined Barsham in 1983 as a player. During his playing career Mike stepped into some very big shoes replacing Henry in the position of Treasurer, a position he still holds. He has put in a tremendous amount of work into boosting club funds over the years. Mike is also the clubs representative on the Beccles Sports Club committee which Barsham are proud to be part of.
Another long serving committee member was Bob Sale who sadly died in 2007 just before he reached 50. He joined the club in 1979 and played right up to the year he died. In recognition of his services “The Bob Sale Memorial Cup” is now presented each year to a person who has put in exceptional services for the club. The first proud winner of the Cup was the one and only Henry.
Mark Blades is the current Barsham manger with his side kick Philip Reeder (Boot) as his assistant. Philip joined Barsham as a 16 year old and after playing several years went off to pastures green playing for Beccles before returning to the fold and resuming his playing career. He still plays regularly. Mark joined Barsham from Beccles and after enjoying several seasons as a player became manager. He puts in a tremendous amount of work each week making sure the team turns up etc He has steered the team to promotion to division 1 as well as winning the prestigious Bungay Charity Cup.
One season the last kick of the last league game won Barsham promotion with a penalty kick in extra time taken by Nick Holmes which was an equalising goal that gained the point needed for promotion. In the same year in the Bungay Charity Cup Final following extra time the game had to be decided on penalty kicks, Nick Holmes stepped up to take the last Barsham penalty, and again he scored to win Barsham the cup.
Those mentioned above show why a small club like Barsham has survived for over 60 years, and hopefully many years to come. Through its entirety there have been too many people to mention who have worked hard through good and bad seasons. This is a club with a team spirit second to none, whose first aim is to enjoy the beautiful game of football, always with the intention of winning every game. If the result goes against us, we have a few beers and a laugh whilst discussing next week’s tactics and as long as we have a president like Henry supporting us each week, we are capable of winning anything.
"COME ON YOU REDS"