Football has been played in Mepal for many years. As there was no recreation field in the village until the early 1980’s, the teams had to rely on the goodwill of local farmers to use vacant fields. In the 1970’s the land at the corner of Sutton Road and Witcham Road (now Chestnut Way) was used for football and village ‘get-togethers’ and Mepal Sports was formed in 1974.
After what is now the Recreation Field off Witcham Road was given to the village, the senior football teamed started playing their games there but until the Community Pavilion was opened in 2007, the changing facilities consisted of a shed and bucket (toilet!).
It has been a difficult few years for this club but, with the village recreation field looking back to its best, now is the time to start planning for the future.
With help and advice from Cambs. FA, we are hopeful of being able to run an adult men’s team from September 2021 but would also like to offer something for the local youngsters or our older players. If you, or someone you know, are interested in playing adult, junior or walking football or are willing to help the Club in other ways, please contact our Secretary and let’s get things moving again!
A popular member of the team was a Polish man known locally as ‘Jam Jar Wicki’. Being a very good goalkeeper, he eventually went on to play for Cambridge Utd.
The referee in the game between Shippea Hill and Mepal (played at Shippea Hill) was unpopular with the two teams because of his poor decisions. To get over their point of view, players from both sides threw him in a horse trough.
(There were no red cards then)
Mepal ‘s sport-loving vicar, Rev.Simpson, set up The Choir League for children of 10/11yrs. The league included teams from Mepal, Witcham, Stretham, Sutton & Haddenham with Mepal’s home games being played on the school’s sports field.
Unfortunately, the players were no ‘angels’ and some games ended in brawls!
Bill was known as Mepal’s greatest supporter. Always smartly dressed in his working coat tied with orange baler twine and wellington boots with the mud still on, he was always willing to climb into anyone’s car to support the lads.
In the 1970’s a home game was played on a pitch that was under the cover of snow. Mepal won 10-2 and scored every goal including two superb own goals.
Playing away at Bell Elm (nr.Wisbech) was always difficult because of the undulating pitch which caused the ball to act in a very unpredictable way. One Saturday, the situation was made worse by the large amount of cow muck on the pitch. With no shower facilities, the journey home seemed very long!
Bill was once sent off for swearing at the referee. Nothing unusual in that, but, he was actually one of the linesmen at the time.
Playing away at Six Ringers meant changing in chicken huts and then a half mile drive to the pitch.
The last Presentation Evening to consist of a sit-down, 2-course meal for the two teams and their partners, friends and supporters was held in Mepal Village Hall.