Downham Town chief hails community effort after ground is deemed up to scratch

Downham Town, red, can look forward to focusing their efforts towards on-pitch matters next season.

Downham Town, red, can look forward to focusing their efforts towards on-pitch matters next season. Picture: IAN BURT - Credit: IAN BURT

Downham Town's huge on-pitch improvement has been rewarded by the news that the club's stadium is now fit for Step Six football.

The team's best finish in seven years, ninth, ended a run of five consecutive bottom-three Thurlow Nunn First Division finishes. Happiness at the side's upturn in fortunes increased when Downham's home passed its ground-grading inspection to ensure they will no longer face any future threats of demotion – like they did earlier this year – for off-the-field issues and can also re-enter the FA Vase next term.

Secretary George Dickson said: 'The work was made possible by the obtaining of a grant from West Norfolk Borough Council to cover 50pc of the cost and the club is extremely appreciative of that offer.

'We also need to thank FDC Civil Engineering who carried out the works and donated a large percentage of the profits to the club. We also had a fantastic response from the community and over a couple of weekends many people, some with no association to the club, came down to the ground and got their hands dirty carrying out a number of improvements. We also need to thank the local businesses who offered support and equipment to help improve the facilities.

'We're extremely grateful to all concerned and wish to thank the businesses and individuals for their efforts in helping move Downham forward. We believe this has had a positive impact on our club, galvanised the local community and shows that in a time of need there are good people around who put the interests of the club and what it brings to Downham Market first.'

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Bob Warby took over as boss in November following Diss Town-bound Mark Reeve's departure. He and assistant Lewy Thomson ended up steering their side to an overall total of 54 points – more than Downham picked up during the last two terms combined.

Hear a full interview with Warby as part of an end-of-season non-league special, which also includes Swaffham boss Paul Hunt, by listening to West Norfolk Sports Podcast episode 63, online now at

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