Exmouth Town Saturday home game called off but plans are announced for big game on August 4

PUBLISHED: 20:20 20 July 2018 | UPDATED: 20:20 20 July 2018

Otterton at home to Kentisbeare. Ref shsp 40-16TI 9027. Picture: Terry Ife

Otterton at home to Kentisbeare. Ref shsp 40-16TI 9027. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Exmouth Town’s pre-season build-up was dealt a blow by a late cancellation of a warm-up game against Western League opponents.

Odd Down, a Western League premier Division side had been expected at Southern Road on Saturday (July 21), but the Bath-based outfit contacted Town officials on Friday (July 20) to aplogise for the fact that they were unable to raise an eleven and so the game will not now be taking place.

Town have announced that their August 4 Southern Road meeting with Upton Park FC is going ahead.

Upton Park FC, one of 15 clubs who entered the first ever FA Cup in 1871/72 and winners of the 1900 Olympics football gold medal, will face Exmouth at 5pm on 4 August, at Town’s Southern Road ground.

The friendly match will be raising funds for the chosen charities (SSFA – the Armed Forces Charity, and The Royal Marines Association) of Councillor Jeff Trail, the current Mayor of Exmouth.

Founded in 1866, Upton Park FC is etched in FA Cup folklore, indeed the club’s home ground West Ham Park was the site of the very first goal ever scored in the competition when Clapham Rovers player Jarvis Kenrick opened the scoring in a 3-0 win for Clapham in November 1871.

After closing-down in 1911, the club was reformed in 2016, recreating that original FA Cup fixture with Clapham in 2017. Their squad have recently completed successful fixtures against Jersey FA and Guernsey FA select XIs - destinations they visited regularly in the early 1900’s. They will also be competing against Clapton FC, another historic London club, on 31 July.

Upton Park FC also played the Royal Engineers in the last ever game at the Upton Park Stadium (Boleyn Ground) on Green Street, which was home to West Ham United from 1904 to 2016 when they relocated to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford.

Upton Park Manager Billy Jenkins lives on Green Street, just yards opposite the location of the old ground and has football in his blood. Grandfather Bill Jenkins was West Ham physio from the mid-1950s to 1966 and treated the likes of Bobby Moore, before dad Rob followed in the same footsteps between 1966 and 1990. Rob is honorary physio for the new Upton Park team and will be making the trip to Exmouth.

Chairman of Upton Park, Jon Hunter, said:

“We are delighted to be coming to the wonderful town of Exmouth - we couldn’t wait to make the fixture once it had been suggested by a local contact. Newly reformed in 2016, our squad is made up of top amateur players from across London and the crowd can look forward to an entertaining and competitive game.

“It is our ambition to play quality friendlies against clubs across the country, and this is a great opportunity to build a relationship with Exmouth Town AFC - made even better by the fact the event will be raising funds for charities chosen by the local mayor.”

Exmouth Town AFC Chairman Stuart Shaw said: “These are exciting times for our club and we are really positive about the upcoming season. It is a great chance for us to host an historic club such as Upton Park FC and it should be a cracking afternoon. We really encourage Exmouth residents to bring their families out to watch this unique fixture, to support their local team, and to help raise funds for two incredibly worthy charities.”

Kick off is 5pm on 4 August, but gates will open at 3.30pm. There will be a barbecue and family fun and half-time entertainment.

Tickets are £4 for adults on the gate, those aged 16 and under can watch the game for free.

The match is fundraising for SSFA – the Armed Forces Charity, and The Royal Marines Association.

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