& Swardeston football team, winners of Wymondham & District league cup,
1922 & 1923 Back (L>R): Peter Thomas;
Albert Rix; Harry Bayfield. Centre:
A. ("Tabs") Oakley; Chris Davey; Fred Waters; Harry Hall; Charlie
Alborough. Front row: Berbert Davey;
Harry Bobbin; Jack Pettigrew; Arthur King.
A local news report of Nov. 18th 1931 tells us that "With the object of helping the Mulbarton and Swardeston Football Club Fund a fancy dress dance was held in the Mulbarton Parish Room on Wednesday and was well patronised... The dance music was supplied by the Mulbarton Orphic Band."
Like many other villages, the War in 1939 brought an end to village football. Although some football was played in the village in those early years following the War, the real re-formation of Mulbarton football did not occur until around 1960 when the Club was re-formed under the name MULBARTON UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB. The re-formation was in great part due to the efforts of Mr Bryan Tungate, who retired as Club secretary in 1992 after thirty two years.
As they say "Mighty Oaks from Little Acorns Grow". From that humble rebirth in 1960 the Club grew to be one of the most powerful Club sides in the County. In 1987 the Club decided that following many years of playing on the common, the time had come for the Club to have a home pitch of its own and after a £25,000 fund-raising drive, they moved to the Mulberry Park ground in 1990. The Club, now well respected in the Junior football, also aimed to achieve the Senior ranks - which they did in a little over three years.
Some Memories & Minutes:
In 1955, Norwich City Football Club gave Mulbarton & Swardeston F. C a set of red & black quartered shirts and four new footballs from the £18,000 transfer fee they had received for their Mulbarton-born star, Monty Norman. (Quote from Bryan Tungate)
From the Minutes of the Parish Council, 1965:
Request for Sunday League football on the Common - to be referred to a special Parish Meeting. [Agreed 1966]
From Eastern Evening News, 20th May 1968 (Extract from item entitled: Mulbarton Winning Common Battle):
Mulbarton's football pitch - once reputed to be one of the finest local grounds in the area - has been overgrown for years and the village's cricket and football teams have to play at neighbouring Swardeston.... In an attempt to get local sporting events back to the common, the Common Committee has been working hard....[but] the football club will have to wait until the season after next before they can genuinely play at home....
Before visiting teams can be entertained, changing rooms will have to be provided and there is a long-term plan to provide a second pitch for the village youth club which is enthusiastically supported.
Achievements of Mulbarton United:
(Base on Wymondham & Attleborough Mercury, Friday 13th April 1984)
After its re-formation in the early '60s, United entered the Norwich and District League and won the third division at their first attempt and followed this with the second division title. They were then in the first division for 12 years with a championship win in 1969-70 and runners-up position for 1963-64, 1968-69 and 1972-73 to show for their efforts.
The reserves were formed in 1964-65 and a Sunday team in youth football in 1971-72, which graduated to South Norfolk League 1973-74. The club were offered a place in the new Division Four of the Anglian Combination for the 1966-67 season but lack of facilities caused them to miss out on that occasion. They were elected to fill a vacancy for the 1975-76 season and finished seventh in their initial season.