Season 1952-53 Season 1953-54
As early as July, manager Jack Howe had announced his first major signing - that of Walter Auld an outside left who had turned down offers from Berwick Rangers and Headington in order to come to Lynn. Other major captures saw the return of Harry Cranfield from March Town, the signing of Ted Roberts who, although 35, had made over thirty appearances for Coventry City in the previous season, and Dennis Foster, a former Sheffield Wednesday player, who completed the major signings when he moved from Wisbech.
Speedway made its debut in Lynn that summer - over three thousand watching a meeting to raise funds for the Lynmouth Flood disaster.
Players signing for Lynn and not realising the travelling involved is not new. Ted Roberts wrote to the club on finding that the travelling from Coventry was too much for him. He was subsequently released.
The league campaign started well with four wins and silverware was won with a 4-0 victory over Yarmouth Town in the Miller Shield in front of a gate of 5,995.
In the FA Cup Lynn progressed to the 4th Qualifying Round - defeating both Cambridge clubs, City and United, on the way. Lynn were leading 3-0 with 16 minutes remaining against Cambridge City but City came back to force a replay. What many fans did not realised was that Lynn \'keeper Percy Hooper was concussed – so much so that he continued to “keep goal” after the match had ended.
In the same competition Norwich City were taken to a replay by Tonbridge before defeating them.
Lynn’s FA Cup run ended with defeat in a home replay to Grays Athletic – the income from the competition was £960. The previous season had netted £1,205 but £405 of that came from the Exeter game.
After the first seven matches of the season Lynn’s average home league gate was 5,268 – over a thousand less than that of the previous season despite Lynn having an identical record of winning six out of seven.
Cliff Whitelum notched his 200th goal for Lynn in the match against Yarmouth on Christmas Day.
Going into the New Year Lynn had the satisfaction of their highest league position since returning to the Eastern Counties League tempered with the fact that gates were at their lowest since the arrival of professionalism at The Walks - the average being just 4,313.
December saw two successive gates below 2,000 the first time since the club had returned to the Eastern Counties League in the 1948-49 season.
In January Lynn reported a £500 loss for the first half of the season – it was noted with disappointment that Lynn had no gates above 6,000.
Jack Howe announced his decision to step down when his contract ended in July because of “barracking, malicious gossip and anonymous letters” this was despite Lynn being top of the league!
There were three topics that were often mentioned: the desire to move up to either a higher standard such as the Midland or Southern League, the change of the club to a limited company, and the installation of floodlights – the latter being used successfully at Bury Town.
On Saturday 31 January 1953 Lynn defeated Lowestoft 6-1 at The Walks on a very windy afternoon. That evening large areas of the East Anglian coast, including Lynn, were flooded and many lives were lost.
The following Saturday Lynn defeated Yarmouth 3-0 in the Norfolk Senior Cup - a collection for flood victims raised £150.
The following month Lynn announced that they would not be seeking exemption from the early rounds of the FA Cup as it was more of a “paying proposition” to take part in these rounds.
Lynn advertised for a player-manager or manager to replace Howe – although there were questions raised about the financial implications of having a non-playing manager but it was thought a non-playing manager would give more opportunities for the manager to see all the players in action and opportunities for the reserve team players to progress.
West Bromwich Albion visited The Walks in a benefit match for Lynn keeper Percy Hooper.
A crowd of 9,500 saw the visitors win 5-4 although how much of the match was seen by Hooper is not stated - he was carried off after 35 minutes