Looking back on the first trophy in Diss Town Football Club's history
The year 1892 may not mean much to many, but it’s a big year in the history of Diss Town Football Club.
For it was a year in which the club – formed back in 1888 – got their hands on silverware for the very first time in the shape of the Norfolk Junior Cup.
They beat Yarmouth Second XI 3-1 in a final that had gone to a replay after the initial contest between the sides had ended goalless.
And it is a triumph that has been brought back to life by Gary Enderby, who recently purchased one of the winners’ medals from that victory on the online auctioning website eBay.
“It is quite a find,” said Enderby, author of The Official History of Diss Town Football Club.
“I have put together the club’s history and while doing that I have come across quite a few old programmes.
“They tend to be from around the 1950s, so it is great to have found something like this.”
Diss’ run to glory started with a first-round walkover due to CEYMS second’s side being unable to raise a team.
That was followed by the visit of King’s Lynn Town’s second XI visiting their Roydon Road base, prior to which the club’s treasurer Mr Mase had used the Express to call upon the local community to come out and show their support.
It did not come to fruition – the Express’ match report at the time described the crowd as ‘the few enthusiasts’ – but those that did attend were treated to a 4-1 victory by a Diss team that started the tie with just 10 players.
That was followed by two high-scoring wins, over Thorpe Hamlet seconds (5-0) and YMCA seconds (8-1), the latter of which sent Diss into the final at the Lakenham-based County Ground.
The Express reported that around 200 supporters travelled on the 12.18pm train from Diss for the replay, and they will have been wondering if the trip had been worth their while when Yarmouth Juniors broke the deadlock.
However, Diss fought back and secured the trophy courtesy of goals from GJ Barnes, JH Jones and Yarmouth’s E Mason, who put through his own net.
According to the Express, the ‘state of the game at half-time was duly telegraphed to Diss, and a further message at the close of the game that no alteration had been effected produced the greatest excitement in the town’.
It continued: ‘It oozed out that the victors would return by the train from Norwich due at Diss at 7.23pm, and the roads leading to the station, for some little time prior to the arrival of the train, presented a very animated scene’.
The story goes that the Diss Rifle Band were playing as the team arrived back in the town and a horse-drawn wagon was waiting for the team.
However, the noise from the band and crowd unsettled the horses, who were duly removed, leaving the fans to drag it along behind the band.
Rather slow progress was made along Victoria Road due to the immense concourse of people and numerous vehicles, and a stop was made at The Ship (which was kept by Mr WF Simonds, the club secretary).
The cup was duly filled with champagne before heading on to Mere Street, past the church into Mount Street where it deviated close to the residence of club president Mr Frank Taylor MP, through to Shelfanger Road and finally to the Crown Hotel.
Diss’ triumphant Norfolk Junior Cup final team: GE Jolly (goal), FA Tipple (captain), A Murton (back), F Oakes, JH Head, G Pearce (half backs), FC Cole and GJ Barnes (right-wing), JH Jones (centre), E Clarke and F Robinson (left wing)
More by this authorLiam Apicella
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