Gallery: Campton FC finally win the league

Campton Football Club have finally done it after 84 years - win the Beds Premier League! The club, formed in the 1920s, lifted the Premier title on Saturday after a several near misses in recent years. They won 5-1 at Ickwell and Old Warden with Gary Gibs

Campton Football Club have finally done it after 84 years - win the Beds Premier League!

The club, formed in the 1920s, lifted the Premier title on Saturday after a several near misses in recent years.

They won 5-1 at Ickwell and Old Warden with Gary Gibson scoring their first four goals, making it 46 goals in all competitions which included eight hat-tricks, and Kevin Rimmer adding the fifth and final goal.

Managed by Roy Hayday, Campton have scored 111 goals in their 27 league games to date.

The champs finish their season at third placed Meltis Corinthians this Saturday.

The title success follows finishing runners-up three times in the 21st century - in 2005, 2004 and 2002.

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The progress of the last decade, which culminated in this year's title, started with two coincidences.

Craig Palmer from Hitchin was coerced into having a game for Campton with his workmate from the area, Martin Corcoran, who already played for the club.

He enjoyed it so much that he was soon joined by other ones from Hitchin, in particular Paul Still and Michael Frankland. All have now moved into Shefford with their wives and girlfriends.

The collapse of Shefford Football Club also meant that good local players had nowhere to play after becoming too old for colts football.

Campton were competing in the lower divisions of the Beds League, and with the help of a dedicated and hard-working committee of former players, they set about fundraising and organising a successful club, both socially and on the field.

Every player still pays match subs to help with the upkeep of the club.

Manager Hayday said: "Campton Parish Council welcomed our efforts and wherever possible have encouraged the football club.

"The playing surface and surroundings of the pitch are the envy of many.

"And the residents of Campton have been very tolerant as their peace and quiet is shattered every Saturday afternoon by the increasing amount of traffic and supporters!

"The social side of our club has become very important and the players have participated wholeheartedly in this."

In the early years, it was at The White Hart in Campton, but more recently Malcolm and Ann McLean of The Bridge in Shefford have become the source of fundraising and social activities.

Hayday continued: "Ann's after-match buffets became legendary in the league in which all visiting teams eagerly participated.

"We have been ably supported money wise by Mortgage Quest in which Michael 'Ginge' Frankland is a partner, and John Chambers who was born and bred in Campton."

The majority of players in both first team and reserves come from the surrounding areas.

Top scorer Gibson comes from Stevenage but Hayday added: "As he spends more time over in the Shefford/Campton area, he is becoming a local!

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