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Ilford Football Club wins lottery cash to tell its story and refurbish ground entrance

PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 October 2017

Ilford pose for a team photo prior to their FA Cup match against Woodbridge Town (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Ilford pose for a team photo prior to their FA Cup match against Woodbridge Town (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Ilford Football Club (IFC) has been given thousands of pounds to put on an exhibition about the club’s rich history.

A general view of the main stand at Cricklefield Stadium, home of Ilford Football Club (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo) A general view of the main stand at Cricklefield Stadium, home of Ilford Football Club (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Together with Redbridge Museum, Clements Road, Ilford, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded the club £48,400.

Club chairman Michael Foley said the project won support because of the club’s “remarkable past” including the famed tour matches against the likes of Ajax and FC Barcelona in the 1920s and ’30s.

“The project will involve volunteers including schools and students of Redbridge College’s design team,” he said.

“(They will be) researching stories around the iconic IFC from its founding in 1881, through both world wars, and footballing successes on the local and national stages.”

Ilford players celebrate a goal during an FA Cup match at Cricklefield Stadium (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo) Ilford players celebrate a goal during an FA Cup match at Cricklefield Stadium (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

As well as preserving the football club’s history for generations to come, the exhibition will also benefit the community.

Not only can residents get pleasure by viewing the finished collection but they can learn heritage skills by helping out.

“Volunteers will be trained in handling archive objects and the recording and digitalising of historic documents,” added Mr Foley.

“They will also learn interviewing and editing techniques for the production of an oral histories film.

Ilford players celebrate a goal during an FA Cup match at Cricklefield Stadium (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo) Ilford players celebrate a goal during an FA Cup match at Cricklefield Stadium (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

“The partnership with Redbridge College will form the basis of a number of activities, including designing the digital artwork for a cutting edge exhibition and the creation of a new, retro-style match programme for supporters of the modern team.”

As part of the heritage project, the entrance to the club’s ground at Cricklefield Stadium, Cricklefield Place, Ilford, will be restored.

The Dunnico Gates, named after the club’s one-time president Sir Herbert Dunico, will also be re-sited and a commemorative plaque will be unveiled.

Mr Foley told the Recorder: “The project will help to create a greater sense of awareness and pride in the town itself, as well as a launchpad for the club’s new development plans.”

The project is expected to run for a minimum of 18 months.

Civic pride cabinet member Sheila Bain said “It’s exciting that IFC and Redbridge Museum have won this funding. It is yet another example of council services and community organisations working together to protect the heritage of our great borough.

“I look forward to seeing the results.”

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