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11th tier club make decision to dissolved with immediate effect

An 11th tier club make decision to dissolved with immediate effect, leaving the non league community saddened by their latest statement.

Suffolk & Ipswich League Senior Division outfit Crane Sports, who are the reigning champions, and have won both the Suffolk & Ipswich League Senior Division four times and the Suffolk Senior Cup four times, have released a statement saying they will be folding.

They have unfortunately become just one of a number of clubs to have struggled keeping the club running due to the pandemic.

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First-team manager Iain Radnor said the news, while hugely disappointing also comes as something of a relief. “It’s been ongoing for a period of time now to be honest,” he said.

“At the end of last season we were very close to going. Mary and Lyndon Barnett have done so much. They were doing it all, secretary, chairman, treasurer.

“Basically, when Greshams said to us recently there would be no more football, I spoke to Lyndon and Mary and quite honestly to stabalise, relocate, restructure, then rebuild Cranes – it was going to be just too much for them, me and what is a very small committee.

“Sometimes you have to accept your time is up, fighting a losing battle. In the end it was a bridge too far.”


We are deeply disappointed to have to announce that after much debate, soul searching and consideration that the decision has been made to withdraw our teams from the league with immediate effect. As you can imagine, it is a decision that has been extremely difficult to make.

In the end it was a combination of commercial, financial and logistical factors that ultimately sealed our fate. Like many other clubs, Crane Sports unprecedented success was based upon the incredible social bond between the players, management, committee and supporters. The club felt like one big extended family.

On the day that the friendly fixtures were announced, the club received the news that Gresham’s were no longer able to provide football facilities at the venue.

Essentially this meant no home fixtures and no home ground for the club at a crucial time, when grassroots football was returning after such a long layoff. The club felt it had to take decisive action as it would be completely unfair to the players to ask them to pause things once again, while the club explored other potential options, at a time that is proving difficult for everyone. These players have been the life and soul of the club, they have serial winners’ mentality, play with amazing levels of consistency, are fantastic both on and off the pitch and we wish them every bit of success in the future. Each and every one will be an amazing addition to any new club.

We would like to thank the local football community for all of their support over the years and hope that
Crane Sports have left one or two positive memories within the history of the game. We have been privileged to have enjoyed the services of so many local legends of the game as either players, management, supporters or all three.

It just leaves us to say a massive thank you to Rads who took the club from 4th place from the bottom to winning leagues and Cup Finals.

His commitment to the club and ability to motivate the players, speaks for itself, I’d also like to add my thanks to his assistants. All the committee and match day helpers who worked tirelessly behind the scenes and clearly do not get the recognition they deserve. Without you all, the club would not have existed.

Good Luck to you all its been an absolute pleasure – Lyndon Barnett Chairman


After the news broke, other nearby non league sides in Suffolk reacted. Eastern Counties First Division side, Ipswich Wanderers tweeted: ‘Such a shame. Great club, will always be fondly remembered by the football people of Ipswich.’

Halesworth, who also play in the SIL Senior Division tweeted: ‘Well done to everyone who has been involved in the success of Cranes over the years also sorry for everyone connected with the club a sad day for local football.’

Fans and other clubs reacted after seeing that the 11th tier club, who formed before the second World War, make a decision to dissolved with immediate effect…

@DanielEngland98: Such a shame hopefully you can find new owners soon to continue in the league

@spreads70: Sad day when the league loses a club like Cranes. Many great games against them as a manager and several defeats, but I always admired their ability togetherness and their winning mentality. Several very good players looking for clubs!!

@WickhamMarketFC: Well done to everyone involved for the fantastic success over the years, and best of luck to all wherever you end up!

@DeanCoop333: Biggest loss of what I call family. Been amazing to be apart of such an incredible club and such a shame it’s no more. 💙🖤 whoooooo

@HaughleyFc: Well done to everyone who has been involved in the success over the years, still very sad news and a big loss for football in Suffolk, all the best for everyone in their next chapters

@NigelHowe11: Sad news for local football. Enjoyed our 2 part seasons as a fledging reserve side within the Crane Sports family. Thank you Lyndon and Mary for all your support and wish you well for the future.

@RealScoop09: Sad news, many a good battle against Rads and his boys; definitely some good memories Lyndon – we won one or two but not many! Scoop.

@HenleyAFC: Sad news and a major loss to Suffolk football

@lignajoinery: Very sad to hear

@garymgreen35: Sad news for local football

@HalesworthClub: Well done to everyone who has been involved in the success of @CraneSportsFC over the years also sorry for everyone connected with the club a sad day for local football

@MeersPaul: Absolutely gutted 😞

@Fastcar53: This is clearly a sad event. However, if Greshams or whatever they now call themselves are not able to host football at what is, I thought, a sports and social club. Then what are they hosting? It’s a big field or have they sold it off for housing?!?

@Shrublands_FC: Sad news ❤️

@HammettJames: Tough break. Sad news 😞

@ashthomo07: Well done guys for all you achieved. The bench mark for many teams throughout the years. Shame it ended this way. All the best. @OldNewtonUnited

@deejamvlogs: Sad news in the SIL today. Good luck to everyone connected with the club. And thank you to everyone for their help and support with the channel. Those people know who they are 🤝

@C0tts10: Sad day for Local Football.

SEE MORE: Non league club forced to groundshare to prevent folding

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