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Non League Football Under The Microscope

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Eastbourne Borough fans celebrate - August Bank Holiday Monday 2003                                Photograph by Sam Hicks

Fakenham Town FC

Clipbush Park, Clipbush Lane, Fakenham, Norfolk NR21 8SW
Telephone:01328 856222 / 855859
Nickname: The Ghosts
Eastern Counties League

Note Fakenham’s smart Clipbush Lane ground has been home since 1996 and was sufficiently complete for the club to play and win its first home game of the 1996/97 season against Tiptree United. The ground was officially opened on 16 July 1997 by former England manager Graham Taylor and followed by a friendly against Watford in front of over a thousand spectators.

The move to Clipbush Lane sadly spelt the end for the club’s previous home at Barons Hall Lane where they had played since 1907. The ground was shared with the local cricket club, and described by Kerry Miller as “a unique atmospheric little ground”, with the noisy home crowd gathered under the shed at the Town End of the ground (see pics below).

Despite their long tenure at Barons Hall, it was actually Fakenham’s third ground. Formed in 1884, the club’s first headquarters were at Hempton Green, where a crowd of over 2,000 once saw them play Holt FC in a Good Friday fixture. Five years after their formation however, the club moved to the more enclosed and more central Star Meadow ground where they played for the next eight years.

Visiting Clipbush Lane in September 2005, work was just beginning on the foundations for the large clubhouse that now stands on the near touchline and at that point there were only the dugouts and some Portakabins in place on that side of the ground.  Identical covered areas provide shelter behind each of the goals, whilst there is a low seated stand that stretches for most of the way along the far side.  DB

Below, two photographs of Barons Hall Lane taken by Jon weaver in 1996