By Johnathan Molik – Small Club Spotlight Creator
Bungay, a small town in Norfolk with a population just over 5,500 known as the “Electrical Ward” of the North East is also home to a unique football team, Bungay Town FC.
Bungay also known as “Black Dogs” play their games currently in Anglian Combination Division Two which is 12 tiers below the Premier League. All their home fixtures are played at Malting Meadows. The club were founded 90 years ago at a town board meeting following a poor run of form from Bungay United and Bungay Harriers.
Even though recently the club has not had the success that they and the supporters were hoping for, that wasn’t always the case. They are three time Anglian Combination Division One champions, two time Suffolk Senior Cup winners, and had the majority of their success in the Norfolk & Suffolk League.
Now you may be thinking when does this “unique” title come into play, well I’ll tell you. Two years ago at Non-League Day, a day every year where no Premier League or Championship teams play league fixtures, Bungay Town offered everyone 5P to come to the game, remarkable! They managed to still make a profit with 50P programs and £2.50 burgers. The 88 on hand to witness the game left very pleased!
The following year the club gave free mushrooms to patrons because hey, who doesn’t love a free mushroom!
Like I said earlier, this year the club is celebrating 90 years in existence. So on September 26th the club invited back 90 former players (Would of been clever if they had one from every year but that is probably near impossible), gave 90 free hotdogs away, the raffle cost 90p, everything was 90 themed.
Now these ideas just don’t magically appear, the man behind everything is club chairman Shaun Cole. I had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Shaun about these ideas, he responded with: “They were my ideas.” I don’t blame him, I would take full credit for such great ideas.
I know grassroots football is important especially to a small town like Bungay. When I asked Shaun what this team means to this town, he said “What does this mean to Bungay? Well, it’s very difficult to measure these things but I think the town does enjoy the publicity we bring, Bungay is a wonderful little town,it’s a great place for a short break & I do enjoy keeping the town in the news. Both the town & the club are small,quirky & a little eccentric, no bad thing in my eyes!”
Another town and team after research I would love to visit, I hope you take the chance if granted to attend a Bungay Town FC game. Everyone associated with the club was so friendly and helpful. Truly a team that is still in touch with its grassroots.