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One year after a crisis, North Walsham Town open extension - then win relegation six-pointer

15:02 27 April 2013

North Walsham FC celebrate the opening of their new extension. Town mayor Dave Robertson cutting the ribbon. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

North Walsham FC celebrate the opening of their new extension. Town mayor Dave Robertson cutting the ribbon. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2013

A nightmare chapter in the history of a north Norfolk football club was officially closed on Saturday with the opening of a £23,000 clubhouse revamp.

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Last year, North Walsham Town FC were four days from being forcibly demoted from the Anglian Combination Premier Division because their changing facilities did not meet Football Association regulations.

An 11th-hour extension bought club officials the time to raise money from some generous donors, and the Angels dodged demotion by the tips of their wings.

On Saturday, town mayor David Robertson cut the ribbon to open the extended changing rooms and new disabled toilets at the club’s Greens Road headquarters.

Secretary Neil Coop said the club was “four days from being relegated” last year, adding: “It was very close.”

He said Gavin Lemmon from the FA had helped the club to gain a £13,000 Football Foundation grant. The club put some money in, while other cash came North Norfolk District Council’s Big Society Fund (£7,000), Interconnector at Bacton (£1,000) and North Walsham Town Council (£300).

Mr Coop said: “That all got the job done. We had to double the size of the changing rooms from nine square metres to 18 square metres. We’ve also now got a disabled toilet built in.”

The required work was completed some months ago, but Mr Coop said “a few extras” had been done to finish it off ahead of Saturday’s ceremony.

Ironically, having fought so hard off the field to stave off relegation, the Angels are in danger of dropping a division this season, finding themselves second from bottom of the league with a few games left.

But they boosted their survival hopes on Saturday afternoon with a 2-1 home win over relegation rivals Sheringham Town.

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