League folds after 102 years

AFTER 102 years the Treadfirst Halstead and District Football League has folded. The decision was taken after withdrawals left the Saturday league with just seven clubs for next season.

Last season the league, which drew the bulk of its support from the Haverhill area, ran with 13 clubs, but then four dropped out during the close season, prior to the agm – including Acton Crown, Belchamps, and Bures Reserves.

Secretary Tom Abrahams, a former president of the league and player at Gosfield, said the league had intended to continue with nine clubs, and had advertised for more. But after the agm two more clubs pulled out, leaving the management committee with little choice.

“Running with seven clubs was not viable,” said Abrahams. “So we decided to take a decision quickly to allow the remaining clubs the opportunity to look for another league.

“It’s very sad. It was a well respected league, but we have been losing numbers over the past few years. In many cases clubs have folded. There are plenty of players, but you can’t get people to run the clubs.”

One of the surviving seven was Clare Town Reserves, who are hoping to move to the Kershaw BIS Cambridgeshire League, where the first team plays. Club official Tom Pilling said they had been given provisional approval for the move and would be meeting league officials in two weeks time.