Gallery: Players past and present celebrate football club's 10th anniversary
PLAYERS past and present helped a village s junior football club celebrate its 10th anniversary at a special end of season presentation awards and fun day. Manuden Junior Football Club was formed in 1999 by a group of parents for their children. Club chai
PLAYERS past and present helped a village's junior football club celebrate its 10th anniversary at a special end of season presentation awards and fun day.
Manuden Junior Football Club was formed in 1999 by a group of parents for their children.
Club chairman Vaughan Atkinson said: "It all began when a few of the boys started regularly going over the village playing fields for a kick about.
"More and more people gradually got involved and eventually we decided to start up our own club.
"Since then it's gone from strength to strength - we now have almost 100 members, with teams ranging from the Mini section to under-16s. Next year we'll have even more teams."
The proof of the club's ever-growing popularity was evident at Saturday's event, which attracted almost 400 people and helped raise �2500 towards club funds.
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Trophies were handed out by ex-West Ham goalkeeper Mervyn Day, a resident of the village, and the fun element of the day included a bouncy castle, face painting and ferret racing.
During the presentation ceremony, Mr Atkinson read out some letters of congratulations sent by several Premier League managers, including Harry Redknapp (Tottenham), Arsene Wenger (Arsenal) and Mark Hughes (Manchester City).
"They were all hand-written and there were some lovely comments congratulating us on 10 years of grass roots football," said Mr Atkinson. "I think the highlight though, was the letter from Sir Alex Ferguson. That was particularly well received."
To coincide with the junior club's milestone, the event was also used to mark the 90 years that a senior football team have been playing in the village.
A history stand containing some of the club's memorabilia was set up and there was also a special invitation offered to two former players - Ken Trott and 89-year-old Burt Outlaw who both played for Manuden during the 1948-9 season.
Mr Outlaw, who played from 1945 to 1954, was also presented with a special award.
"It was great to have Burt and Ken turn up. They seemed to really enjoy talking about the old days and our young players certainly found it interesting to have two distinguished guests," said Mr Atkinson.
"In all it was a brilliant day.