Team's new kit honours nine village lifeboatmen who died in disaster

Caister FC players celebrate winning Football team wearing new shirts dedicated to "The Nine."

Caister FC players celebrate after winning The Offside Trust Senior Cup wearing the new shirts dedicated to "The Nine." Picture by Harry Fitzsimmons Photography - Credit: Harry Fitzsimmons Photography

A football team‘s new kit has been branded as “The Nine” in a poignant dedication to the nine lives lost in a lifeboat tragedy 120 years ago.

There were just three survivors of the Caister Beauchamp Lifeboat disaster in November 1901. 

The Caister Lifeboat Beauchamp crew.

The Caister Lifeboat Beauchamp crew. Picture: supplied - Credit: Supplied

Caister Football Club's nickname is The Lifeboatmen and the chairman Alan Peace said: “The first team were due a new kit for the 2021/22 season. I had been thinking about closer ties with Caister Lifeboat after we had dedicated a space on our Caister Walk of Names to the names associated with the 1901 tragedy.

“With 2021 being the 120th anniversary of the nine lives lost to The Great Storm, it would be an appropriate tribute to feature these brave men in some way."

Mr Peace said a concept encapsulating “Caister Men Never Turn Back” - a slogan that resulted from the aftermath of that fateful night - and an image of the Beauchamp lifeboat was developed for the new shirts.

The wreckage of Caister lifeboat Beauchamp was finally broken up in 1966.

The wreckage of Caister lifeboat Beauchamp was finally broken up in 1966. She capsized on a rescue launch in 1901, with the death of nine of her crew. - Credit: Archant Library

Club sponsor Brian Newson Developments agreed for his logo to be printed on a sleeve, rather than in the usual place across the chest, so the Caister Lifeboat logo was put in its place.

Stuart Paterson, from Matchday Marketing, designed the shirt from the concept.

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Mr Peace said: "The result is a fabulous design and one we hope that supporters of the football club, the lifeboat and those who love the village will be keen to buy."

He added: “Mr Paterson suggested an online launch video to promote The Nine and came up with a short film that established the link between the 1901 crew and the 2021 tribute."

With the help of other Caister residents, Mr Paterson researched and collected images of the nine that perished and filmed footage on and around Caister beach and the Lifeboat station.

Postcard of the Caister Lifeboat Memorial in 1904. Picture: supplied

Postcard of the Caister Lifeboat Memorial in 1904. Picture: supplied - Credit: Supplied

The lifeboat monument in Caister cemetery.

The lifeboat monument in Caister cemetery. Nine men of Caister lost their lives in the lifeboat 'Beauchamp' on the morning of 14th November 1901. - Credit: Archant Library

Mr Peace composed and narrated a poem to reflect the same link that features at the beginning of the film.

Paul Garrod, chairman and crew member of the Caister Lifeboat, said: “The Caister Lifeboat are so proud to be associated with Caister Football Club and it is two great community spirits working together."

The team, wearing the new shirts, won The Offside Trust Senior Cup on Tuesday, beating Stalham 2-1.

Replica shirts are available to buy, only featuring the number 9 on the back.

The club will donate a proportion of the profits from shirt sales to the Caister Volunteer Lifeboat Service.

Email caisterfootballclub@hotmail.co.uk for an order form and they cost £40 for adults and £35 for juniors.

Painting by William Calladine of the 1901 Beauchamp Disaster.

Painting by William Calladine of the 1901 Beauchamp Disaster. - Credit: Keiron Tovell

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