LEISTON FC have regained Full Membership of the Football Association.
The club, who lost their membership around 40 years ago, have had their application ratified by The FA Council, after being an Associate Member for three years.
Leiston, who play at Step 3 level, join Ipswich Town FC, AFC Sudbury and Lowestoft Town FC as the only Full Member clubs from Suffolk. Bury Town FC are the only Associate Members from Suffolk. Leiston's Victory Road ground is pictured above.
Barry Spall, who is now a Vice-President of the club, was chairman of the club when Leiston lost their Full Membership.
He kick-started the campaign for Leiston to regain their Full Membership, although most of the work was undertaken on behalf of the club by long-serving club official Peter Douglass.
Barry said: “Leiston were Full Members along with Ipswich Town and Lowestoft Town when I joined Leiston 60 years ago as a 16-year-old.
“So you can imagine I was bitterly disappointed when we lost our Full Membership around 1979-80, especially as I was chairman of the club at the time.
“When I mentioned about regaining Full Membership several years ago, only Peter Mayhew of the current committee knew that we had been Full Members and what it involved such as voting rights and access to FA Cup Final tickets.
“When England won the World Cup in 1966 Leiston were one of only about 150 clubs across the country to be presented with a small replica of the trophy.
“I said I would write a letter on behalf of Leiston FC to see if the club could regain Full Membership, and Suffolk FA delegate Bruce Badcock has since done a lot of work on our behalf.
“When Bruce rang me to tell me that Full Membership had been granted I was absolutely over the moon – I have never been so chuffed in all my life!”
Current Leiston Chairman Andy Crisp, who took over from Barry Spall, said: “It is nice to have the kudos as a club of being a Full Member just like the old Leiston used to have previously.”
The Football Association Limited is a company with share capital. The articles of association of The FA set out in detail who is entitled to hold an ordinary share.
A Full Member of The FA is allocated an ordinary share that entitles the holder to participate at general meetings of The FA and to vote on proposed changes to FA Rules, Regulations and articles. It also provides limited entitlement to purchase tickets for matches organised by The FA.
To be able to apply for Full Membership, a club must have been an Associate Member for at least three years and be playing in or above the Premier Division of either the Isthmian, Southern or Northern Premier Football Leagues. Under FA Rule A 3 (a) and (b) an application to become a member of The FA must be received by March 1st in any calendar year.
For further information on the application process please email clubgovernance@TheFA.com