Sorrow from former players at loss of well-established Steeple Bumpstead team
Haverhill footballers past and present have been ruing the loss of the local side responsible for nurturing their passion for the beautiful game.
Steeple Bumpstead FC have withdrawn from the Cambridgeshire County League where they had been competing in the Kershaw Senior B, after struggling for player availability in recent seasons.
But, after fighting on for as long as possible, the club signalled their intent to exit the league to Cambridgeshire FA on February 26.
Their playing record has since been expunged from the table, in accordance with the rules.
A county league spokesman said: “It is always sad to see a club fold, but I am afraid that this is a trend that is not only affecting football but other sports as well.
“Hopefully they will soon be able to reform.”
Meanwhile, past players have been expressing their sadness at the news, with a host of current players and managers having spent a spell with the village side in their youth.
The club has an illustrious history and was rumoured to be one of the top local village teams in the 1980s and 1990s, although information on its past is scant at best.
It is understood to have folded once before, following those two decades of success, before being brought back in the early noughties.
Many of the town’s players have enjoyed spells at the club over the past 30 or more years.
Lakenheath manager Ben Cowling, Haverhill Borough striker Craig Pruden and former Haverhill Rovers captain Marcus Hunt have all donned a Bumpstead shirt at one point in their playing careers.
Lee Sharpe was their manager this season, with long-time player and committee member Greg Wingate still involved – and West Wratting player-coach Roger Dourado joined their ranks in November 2018.
But, despite this, they still found it hard to put forward a team week-in and week-out – with a reserve team in the Mead Plant & Grab 4A – and it eventually led to the club folding all together.