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Bungays galore at charity match

09:20 08 May 2012

Bungay vs Bungay. A special charity match was held at Bungay Town FC for people with the surname Bungay.  Picture: Nick Butcher

Bungay vs Bungay. A special charity match was held at Bungay Town FC for people with the surname Bungay. Picture: Nick Butcher

© Archant 2012

It was the football game that had everything – 12 goals, a controversial sending-off, two penalties, a pint-sized goal scorer and a dramatic last-minute equaliser.

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And yet those breathtaking moments paled into insignificance when the players took to the north Suffolk pitch at the beginning of the match.

For they all shared a very common bond – the same surname.

In what was believed to a world first, every player at the home of Bungay Town FC had the same surname – Bungay.

After answering a call from organisers, more than 50 Bungays had travelled from across the country and further afield to take part in a charity match – or to cheer on the sides – to raise funds for the Jack and Ada Beattie Foundation which supports vulnerable people.

The small army of Bungays took it in turns to take to the pitch in either red or blue shirts as they took part in a keenly-fought and often very comical game.

Cheered on by a crowd of Bungay supporters, the players on both sides, made up of Bungays of all ages and both sexes, served up a treat at the Maltings Meadow ground.

As well as the players, the referee was John Bungay, of Eastleigh, Hampshire, and the on-call doctor was Dr Kate Bungay, from the neighbouring town of Beccles.

In the most controversial part of the match the referee had to send off his cousin – goalkeeper Chris Bungay, a retired trucker who travelled all the way from Australia to take part.

And his sending-off may have made football history as the stern referee showed him a blue card when he sent him off, blue being the same colour as Bungay FC’s strip.

The shamed-faced keeper said: “I am sick as a parrot. I did nothing wrong!”

There was further controversy as the blue side was awarded two last-minute penalties to even out the score at 6-6.

The player of the match was Keiran Bungay, 15, a Manchester United supporter, who told the crowd: “Thanks for the support guys.”

Other notable Bungays were Owen Bungay, six, of Northolt, London, who proved to be a pint-sized goal poacher and Todd Bungay, 22, from Southampton, who scored four goals.

Shaun Cole, who organised the charity game and is on Bungay FC’s committee, said: “It was an amazing game. It had everything. It could not have gone any better.”

The idea for the football match came from Bil Bungay, who was the captain of the red team and lives in London.

anthony.carroll@archant.co.uk

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