May 27, 2022, 8:03 a.m.
In the year 1945, the six Youngman brothers moved to Hempnall, and the two older ones Stanley and Ted, played for the team.
The pitch, in those days, was the field situated beside the bungalow of the Penn family, half way between the village and the Alburgh Road junction. It was the late Fred Penn who loaned the field to the club completely free of charge.
The team played in the Norwich and District League, in the colours of Light and Dark Blue squares.
The players consisted of several familiar names related to several of todays members e.g. Bert Leeder, grandfather of Tim Clarke; Herbert Downing, Peter's father; Ernie Downing, father of Rodney; Joe Beckett, father of Dennis and David; Gordon Gray, father in law of Paul Craske; Jim Rodger who was a past President and still a member of the Club today.
Other players of the day were George Key, Desmond Holl, Peter Gooch, Harold Sutton, Eric Todd, Walter Penn, Billy Leathersich, Victor Goddard, Geoge Guyton, Jimmy Buck, and Lawrence Chapman,until his recent passing, a very popular member of the "Bungay Road Faithful".
The team was very successful during it's time, and just after the war, were involved in playing several friendly games against the German "prisoners of war" based at Seething Airfield.
After they left the Penns' field, they played for two seasons at Thurrell's Meadow, just at the edge of the village.
The team colours were changed to Red.
Upon leaving Thurrell's Meadow, George Allen offered the club the use of his field behind his farm in Busseys Loke (the cricket club also played there). Those who remember the late George Allen will remember him for his generosity to the village and I even have, to this day, a letter stating that Hempnall Football Club will never be without a field to play on.
The village then agreed to establish its own playing field where we currently play today, and the Allen family were heavily involved in creating the current site.
In 1952, a Reserve team was formed, and played it's first league game at Woodton, where they drew 5 - 5. That team consisted mainly of fifteen year olds who had all left school that year.
The team members consisted of Bernard Youngs, Neville Day, Hugh Tweeddale, Maurice Warne, Peter and Michael Emms, Robin Moore, Edward Sauverin (Jack Slapp), Hilton Smith and Ray Youngman.
The colours of Maroon and Sky Blue were introduced the same year and have remined in use ever since. The team won the Depwade and District League in its first year and conceded only eight goals.
During the fifties several othe family members joined the club and the club went on to pick up a few trophies of various nature including The Raveningham Nursing Cup, the Patterson Cup, The Bungay Cup, The Earsham Cup, and League honours.
Going back to the earlier years several distinguished people of Hempnall were part of the club and were heavily involved in running the club.
Billy Edwards was the Secretary and Major Southery, the Rodger family, the Reverend Martin, and several local businessmen were involved, including Jimmy Youngman (no relation), who kept the local shop on the corner of Field Lane, where we all used to meet on a Saturday evening to collect the Pink Un.
Police Sergeant, Alec Buck, was the main person involved in the current playing field, but left the area before it's completion.
Transport in those days was by cycle or in the cars of the only two members who had cars, George Key and Jim Rodger (both farmers sons).