• blueandgold
  • amazon
  • facebook
  • easyfundraising
  • twitter
Window Masters
King's Lynn Football Handbook 1909-10
The following article comes from the "King's Lynn Football Handbook 1909-10".
The book itself gives further proof that KLFC existed in that name prior to 1915 and Lynn Town was probably just the name which distinguished it from Lynn Swifts, Lynn United, Lynn St Nicholas and some other local clubs.
A few seasons ago Grantham could boast(?) Margaret Thatcher as their president - back in 1909 Lynn could do better than that (some would say that is not difficult) in having His Majesty the King as the club’s patron.
The article, written by a Lynn player under the name of Sandy, suggests it was not as easy to walk around the ground as it is today and that headgear might be warn by the referee but that there are some things that have not changed in the past 99 years.
"Now, I’ve always noticed at our football matches that we’ve an uncommon lot of supporters who are always ready to pick holes in the referee’s coat. You’re sure to find them at every match, and, if the referee happens to be a local man, they at once sharpen their nails and dig into him worse than otherwise. They think, you know, that once they have paid down their 3d. at the gate, they have an undeniable right to call out abuse, swear a bit just to put themselves in form, cheek the referee, boo at him, and be a nuisance generally. Oh! they are such profound judges of the game they think, and how it ought to be played. They know, of course they do, better than the best referee who ever blew a whistle. And so, why shouldn’t they try to teach the poor referees we get in Lynn what the rules really mean? Those men know all there is to know about these rules. The offside rule to them is as simple as eating jam cake, and so they will often give a free demonstration to the people around them, and make more noise than a socialist at the Walks gates . . .
I’ll tell you what the trouble is though. You have become such a confirmed old grumbler that, if the man did not make a single mistake in the whole game, you would at once grumble because he hadn’t and you think you hadn’t had your money’s worth. Oh! I can tell you I was downright ashamed of you at some of last year’s matches. To hear you talk! You little gangs on the 3d side; yes, and on the 6d side, too. . .
You never did give the referee a chance. You blamed him one week because he did not keep up with the ball: the next because he did, and got in the way of the players: the next because he hadn’t a cap on, and the fourth because he had. Oh! For goodness sake do try and keep more quiet this season. Save your wind to blow your porridge with"
The reference to three pence, and six pence sides to the ground are probably to the north side (3 pence entry) and the south side (6 pence entry). I assume this is something to do with those paying the lower price having the handicap of the sun in their eyes. Some sixteen years earlier season tickets were available with the description "2 shillings will admit one to the north and east sides of the ground for all matches, double that price for a similar privilege on the south and west sides."
The handbook also details the club’s accounts as at 17th June 1909 with the following assets:
                                  £   s d
Pavilion, Canvas, Posts &c       50   0 0
Grand Stand                     110   0 0
Desk &c                           5   0 0
Cash at Bank                     82  15 6
TOTAL                           247  15 6
For those who are not old enough to understand the concept of pounds, shillings and pence ask your parents (or should it be grand parents?). The canvas and posts probably relate to the pavilion but a few years earlier it was recorded that a canvas was erected before each game to prevent people seeing the match without paying. On a windy day it seems to have provided more excitement than some of the football.
This was the first ever handbook produced by the club - in fact the only other handbook I have seen was produced in the 1960’s.
Returning to Sandy’s article and the subject of rumours. Today, of course, we have the Internet and the club forum but apart from the Internet being quicker and reaching a wider audience than 90 odd years ago nothing seems to have changed. From time to time someone will post a message on the forum saying that it is amazing any player comes to the club considering the way they are treated by some of the fans  it seems nothing has changed in the past 99 years.
"We still have in Lynn a worse sort of supporter still, - the kind who thinks that the football players of the team are the fit and proper persons for them to hang all their gossiping tales upon. . . . no player can stand down from any match without having to pay the penalty of having his reputation scattered to the four winds. As soon as it is known that some player cannot get away next Saturday to go to Colchester or Ipswich, - what happens? Why, one of the kind of person I’m referring to, goes to his special crony and says: "Oh so-and-so won’t go to Colchester on Saturday" and before the two separate, they have become convinced that why so-and-so won’t play is because the team are going in charge of a man he dislikes, or because his chum was not picked in the team also . .
About two years ago - when our boys were winning fame by securing five cups in one season - one of our prominent players was suddenly called away by telegram to London. It was the day of the finals of the English Cup and the Lynn Hospital Cup, but the man thought it his duty to go to London to see the friend who was ill. And will you believe me when I tell you the silly tales that went about Lynn before the days was out? Some said he had left his team in the lurch and gone to see the English Cup final. How they did curse and revile him. Others were equally certain that the man had gone to London to play for Norwich City. A third section of these miserable fools (having heard a suspicion of the truth) spread abroad the rumour that the man’s brother was in a London hospital with a broken leg. You won’t wonder after this when I say that this third tale was later amended and folks heard that the said brother was dead and the Lynn player had gone to attend the funeral . . I wonder how it is that some are still playing for us after what you had said about them."

The King's Lynn 1909-10 Handbook is kept in the Norwich Millennium Library