Saturday, August 22, 2009
Club focus -- Kirkley and Pakefield FC
Last week I was on holiday just up the road from where Kirkley and Pakefield play, so perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise that they have a badge that looks like it belongs on a sign for a caravan park.
Kirkley and Pakefield take on Ely this afternoon and it would take someone with a lot of optimism to predict a win for Ely. Ely have had a very mixed start to the season, but Kirkley and Pakefield have got off to a flyer.
The first records of a Kirkley Football Club come from 1887 when a Kirkley team merged with East Suffolk to form Lowestoft FC . In 1890 another Kirkley team was formed and in 1897 they reached the final of the FA Amateur Cup.
For most of their history though Kirkley have been in the shadows of Lowestoft, who are certainly the best supported club in the Eastern Counties League and probably are the best supported of step 5 clubs as a whole. Kirkley started to step out of the shadows in 2004 when they won promotion to the Eastern Counties from the Anglian combination. The following season they won promotion to the Premier division and finished 3rd in their first season there.
In 2006/07 Kirkley merged with Pakefield boys who themselves were formed in 1981. What prompted the mergere, I don't know, although I'm guessing that it was due to Pakefield's stadium and Kirkley's success on the pitch. The club now play at the 2000 capacity Walmer Road ground in Pakefield and there are over 50 teams playing under the Kirkley and Pakefield banner, which isn't bad considering the population of Pakefield is about 1400. It has to be remebered though that Pakefield was once a separate community from Lowestoft, but now it is difficult to see where Pakefield starts and Lowestoft stops.